Kids Are Getting Older Quicker. And Disney Tries to Adapt.

Kids Are Getting Older Quicker. And Disney Tries to Adapt.

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Sitting in his office here, amid mementos from glory-days hits like “High School Musical,” Mr. Marsh mused about breakthrough shows for adults like “Orange Is the New Black” on Netflix and “The Walking Dead” on AMC.

“There has to be an equivalent in our space,” he said. “Stories that matter, that deal with more complex issues, that are emotional, resonate longer. They stick to your guts.”

Whether “Andi Mack” connects with viewers when it makes its premiere on April 7 is anyone’s guess. (Disney Channel released the first two episodes on its digital platforms on Friday to spread word of mouth.) But Mr. Marsh’s willingness to even take the risk is revealing: As storytelling tastes change and viewing habits shift, the predictable formulas are no longer enough.