After a process that began as early as 2017 and finalizing only last year, the end of an era came when several media assets under 21st Century Fox were acquired by Disney. These included another major film studio in 20th Century Fox, along with related TV production arms, cable channels and the Fox stake in the subscription VOD service Hulu. To cement the new ownership of 20th Century Fox and differentiate it from the spun-off Fox Corporation (Fox News, FOX Broadcasting, etc.), Disney had renamed it to 20th Century Studios last January. This Monday, it was 20th Century Fox Television’s turn to lose the “Fox.”
As told by Variety, The Walt Disney Company has continued to scrub the Fox branding from its media acquisitions this week. As of August 10, the TV production and distribution studio once known as 20th Century Fox Television is now just 20th Television Inc. At the same time Fox21 Television Studios, which focused on independent small productions, was given the name Touchstone Television. Touchstone was a label used by Disney to produce feature films that do not fit their “family-friendly” brand name. The original Touchstone Television was founded in 1985 but was renamed to ABC Studios since 2007, leaving the label dormant until renaming Fox21.
That done, the House of Mouse has grouped 20th Television and Touchstone Television with ABC Studios, now renamed ABC Signature under its overall banner of Disney Television Studios. While the name changes are for keeps as of now, the effects of the rebranding with their associated TV shows produced will not become clear until the season premieres starting this fall. At that point, new episodes of animated series like “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” will now have 20th Television logos and end cards, while the old logo will be retained on the episodes aired pre-renaming.
While the “de-Fox-ing” of Disney’s acquisitions was necessary since a separate media company called Fox still exists, some commenters have noted that the entertainment giant’s renaming schemes have been completely unimaginative. It even reflects on the reimagined logo design with the name and searchlight images, but no “Fox” or “Century Fox” depending on the division. About the only significant alteration was Fox21 to Touchstone, but that was simply repurposing a dormant label. Still, that is the way the Fox vanishes.
Image courtesy of The Verge