The Marvel Cinematic Universe, the all-devouring, inescapable pop-culture force that it has become, hasn’t had as easy a time on television as it has in film. Sure, the Netflix entries (Daredevil, Jessica Jones) have done remarkably well, and the trend is looking to continue with Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and the small scale Avengers-ish mashup The Defenders; however, Netflix is not traditional format television, and part of the reason of the aforementioned programs’ success is their “R-rated” appeal. The ABC network, de facto home of everything Disney (Marvel included) on your TVs, hasn’t had as much success.
Agents of S.H.I.E.LD. is entering season 4, but at the expense of several characters set up for their own pilot in Marvel’s Most Wanted; the episode was shot and produced, but didn’t really sit well with execs enough for a series order. Likewise, Marvel’s Agent Carter, a spin-off of the first Captain America film with SSR Agent Peggy Carter in the lead (played by Hayley Atwell), was cancelled before it’s third season. That particular cancellation did not sit well with viewers; while the show was not likely drawing the numbers ABC wanted it clearly had a fanbase.
While Marvel continues to flourish on film and in streaming shows, the cancellation (of Agent Carter) seemed bold considering the competition at DC is blooming with a shared multi-verse in Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, Supergirl, and a rumored revival of Constantine in the future, all on the CW. There’s also the separate, but highly watched Gotham on FOX television.
Basically, people want some answers for what’s going on at Marvel TV. During a panel at TCA 2016, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey was able to answer some of the questions that have been needed to be answered. First, on the subject of whether the characters Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter could return to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. now that their show has been cancelled post-pilot:
“Interesting question, one that Marvel’s probably best positioned to answer. The characters were sort of disavowed in the show as they call it, but I never underestimate Marvel’s ability to bring people back.”
Speaking further on the cancelled Marvel’s Most Wanted, he had this to say:
“Most Wanted, ultimately at the end of the day, did not feel as strong as some of the other pilots that we shot. We talked about it with Marvel and we all came to an agreement that we want to figure out what the next show is that we do together, is something that we all feel is as creatively strong as it can be.”
When asked about Agent Carter , she ultimately said there was no negative feelings between ABC and Marvel, and went on to say:
“Since I’ve been in this role, we’ve been in a number of really terrific conversations with the Marvel team. We’re sitting down again in two weeks to discuss next steps. We’re very, very excited for the plans they have for S.H.I.E.L.D. season four.”
It seems, in the end, ABC is still only focused on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; while the show certainly has a large fanbase, and the promise of a certain ignited character in the next season, one can’t help feel that ABC is falling behind their brethren at Netflix and their competition at DC Entertainment.
Via Slash Film