Disney+ has always marketed itself as a streaming service “for the whole family” but one question that is constantly asked on Twitter is about the double standards of the age rating system (TV-Y – TV-14 and G – PG-13). It begs the question of what ABC and Freeform shows which fit into those age ratings are missing and why are they missing? Note: this isn’t a list of every ABC and Freeform show that exists, just a selection of the shows that are missing and all shows listed are available on Disney+ in other countries through Star.
Missing ABC Show #1: Modern Family (2009)
With a name like Modern Family, it’s kind of clear cut this series is family-friendly enough to pop onto Disney+, so what’s Modern Family about? Modern Family is a mockumentary family sitcom about three different types of families (nuclear, blended and same-sex) who are all interrelated through Jay Prichett and his children daughter Claire and son Mitchell.
This is literally a sitcom about a family and it’s rated TV-PG meaning it has the same age rating as Disney+’s flagship series The Mandalorian (2019) and yet Modern Family isn’t streaming on Disney+ in the US. Instead all eleven bingeable seasons are available on Hulu and Peacock.
Missing ABC Show #2: Black-ish (2014)
Black-ish is another family sitcom, but this one revolves around an upper-middle-class African-American family lead by Andre “Dre” Johnson and Rainbow Johnson. The series revolves around the family’s lives as they tackle personal and sociopolitical issues.
Similar to Modern Family, Black-ish is rated TV-PG, is a family sitcom, and is streaming on Hulu. Black-ish not being available however is more disappointing than Modern Family’s absence due to Disney having a “Celebrating Black Stories” Collection and yet Black-ish isn’t available despite meeting the “family-friendly” and “made and owned by Disney” criteria. Adding insult to injury, a survey sent out early in 2020 asked Disney+ subscribers if they would be interested in watching series including Firefly (2002) and Black-ish on Disney+
Missing ABC Show #3: The Wonder Years (1988)
The classic 1988 series The Wonder Years is seen as a favourite by millions of sitcom fans and TV critics. The Wonder Years is a coming of age comedy-drama centered on Kevin Arnold a teenager growing up in the late 1960s – early 1970s. The series takes place from 1968 to 1973.
With a reboot of The Wonder Years in production, releasing the classic series onto Disney+ could be a way for the series to create new fans and to reconnect with old fans. The Wonder Years (1988) is rated TV-PG just like Modern Family and Black-ish and should be made available to Disney+ subscribers all over the world including the US and Latin America.
Missing ABC Show #4: Doogie Howser, M.D. (1989)
Now it’s time for a medical drama, Doogie Howser, M.D. is an American medical drama that ran from 1989 to 1993 and stared a young Neil Patrick Harris as the titular Doogie Howser. Doogie is a child prodigy with a genius intellect and eidetic memory who becomes fascinated with medicine after he survived early-stage pediatric leukemia twice.
With Doogie Howser getting a reboot this fall on Disney+ (Doogie Kameāloha ) at Disney+ it begs the question why the classic series is missing? Especially when you consider that Doogie Howser, M.D. is rated a TV-PG and Disney has PG-13 and TV-14 shows and movies (via National Geographic) that show more violence, blood and gore already streaming on Disney+. We at Disney Deja Vu are particularly disappointed this series wasn’t moved over prior to the reboot launch. (Yet?)
Missing ABC Show #5: Ugly Betty (2006)
Now we’ve reached the final ABC series on the list and it is none other than the romantic comedy-drama series Ugly Betty. So what’s Ugly Betty about? Ugly Betty is about Betty Suarez who despite her lack of style lands a job at a prestigious fashion magazine.
Ugly Betty is rated TV-14 and was created by ABC Studios for ABC and is streaming on Disney+ with Star internationally but in the US the series is only on Hulu. Some additional salt in USA wounds? Ugly Betty was set to expire on Hulu in September 2020 but got renewed. Meanwhile, Ugly Betty was added to Latin America’s Disney+ this spring. NOT Star. Normal “Disney+.” Is the USA doomed to be treated this way?
Missing Freeform Show #1: The Fosters (2013)
The Fosters is an American family drama series that centres around the Adams Foster family led by a lesbian couple: Stef Foster, a police officer, and Lena Adams, a vice principal, who raise one biological son and four adopted teenagers.
The Fosters is a great show and shows LGBTQ+ characters, has strong female characters and one of the characters in the Adams Foster family suffers from ADHD. The Fosters is rated TV-14 and is basically just about teenagers being teenagers and the series should be made available to US subscribers.
Missing Freeform Show #2: Good Trouble (2019)
With The Fosters on this list, I thought it was only right to include its follow up series Good Trouble. What is Good Trouble about and how is it different to its predecessor? Good Trouble is an American drama series that follows Callie Adams Foster and Mariana Adams Foster a few years after their adventures in The Fosters as they navigate young adulthood in Los Angeles.
Good Trouble is rated TV-14 and is about growing up and moving on with your life. Sadly, the series isn’t available on Disney+ US.
Missing Freeform Show #3: Grown-ish (2018)
One of two spinoffs to ABC’s Black-ish series, Grown-ish is an American comedy sitcom that follows the life and adventures of the Johnson’s eldest daughter Zoey as she goes off to college and begins her journey into adulthood but soon realises not everything is going her way once she leaves the nest.
Grown-ish has an age rating of TV-14 and would make a great fit for Disney+ subscribers that are heading to college or are currently studying at college. The later seasons of Grown-ish (seasons 3 and 4) are branded as Disney+ Star Originals in several countries like the UK.
Missing Freeform Show #4: Recovery Road (2016)
Now it’s time for a series that was cancelled after one season but was based on a Young Adult novel. Recovery Road is an American drama series that centres on Maddie, a party girl and a high functioning addict who makes the difficult decision to live with other recovering addicts whilst facing the daily pressure of her teenage life.
Whilst this series might seem to tackle a more mature topic than most Disney shows and movies, remember that the Disney+ Original film Safety (2020) discusses addiction as well. Recovery Road is rated TV-14 and its addition to Disney+ would be a way of Disney treating its older subscribers with more respect.
Missing Freeform Show #5: Love In The Time Of Corona (2020)
Now we reach the final Freeform show, Love In The Time Of Corona. The series is a four-episode miniseries of interwoven love stories. This series would be a reminder to those alone in quarantine that they can still find love.
Love In The Time Of Corona is rated TV-14 and is a Disney+ Star Original in countries like the UK.
If you want any of these series on Disney+ in the US or any other country you can request them here at Disney+ official request form.
An Autistic Disney, Marvel and Star Wars fan from England. Ethan is an advocate for equal representation in media for people of colour, LGBTQ+, women and people with disabilities. One day he'll be a published author mark his words, but for now, he covers Disney stuff.