The Mandalorian’s first episode is coming to broadcast TV — what you need to know

the mandalorian din djarin head show
(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

It’s been over three years since The Mandalorian made its debut on Disney Plus, helping to kick off the fledgling streaming service back in November 2019. Now the show will finally make the jump from streaming to broadcast television — but only a single episode on a single night.

February 24 will see ABC, Freeform and FX show the very first episode of The Mandalorian at 8 p.m.. The one that introduced us to Pedro Pascal’s eponymous bounty hunter, and the abradable green blob that the internet dubbed Baby Yoda — but who we now know as Grogu.

This is no doubt a stunt to try and entice people to subscribe to Disney Plus ahead of The Mandalorian season 3 premiere on March 1. While it’s been nigh-impossible to miss the onslaught of Mando-Merch the past couple of years, there will be plenty of people who have never subscribed to Disney Plus for one reason or another — and thus have never seen the show.

Dropping the first episode on a network TV channel like ABC gives those people the chance to tune in and see what all the fuss is about — and without spending any money in the process. Throwing FX and Freeform into the mix just gives cable subscribers another option, all without having to sign up for something new.

All so they can find out what The Mandalorian’s whole deal is, and why people love Grogu so much. Unfortunately, Grogu doesn’t do much until the second episode, which means you won’t figure that out unless you’re willing to give Disney some money. 

But hey, at least you’ll have the opportunity to see the show without commercials. Since The Mandalorian’s premiere episode is 41 minutes long, and is taking up a full hour in the schedule, it means you’re going to see a lot of ads. Even more than you’ll get if you opt for the $7.99 Disney Plus with ads subscription, since that only shows 4 minutes of advertising per hour.

Though if Disney has any sense, a bunch of that advertising would be for Disney Plus originals — including Mandalorian season 3. Hopefully, that means some new footage, and we’re eager to see what else Disney might be willing to show us before March 1.

The Mandalorian will be available to watch on ABC, Freeform and FX on February 24 at 8 p.m. The entire first and second season of The Mandalorian is currently available on Disney Plus, with subscriptions starting at $7.99 a month.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.