Many folks are wondering exactly what the hell is going on with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Some are loving it, some are hating on it, but most seem to fall somewhere in the middle. No matter who you are, however, you’re likely wishing that the show would provide a bit more. So what’s the deal? During the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour, none-other-than the entertainment president of ABC himself, Mr. Paul Lee, sat down and addressed a few of the questions that people may have. Scroll down to see what he had to say. (more…)
This week is the annual Television Critics Association press tour in Los Angeles, it’s an opportunity for networks and cable channels to show off their wares for the coming fall TV season. ABC is one of the last stops, but it is one of the biggest because they have one of the biggest new shows of the year. Of course, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is the by-product of Disney’s acquisition of Marvel Studios, and you all might recall that Disney made another big acquisition nearly a year ago…
And yes, the question came up during TCA about whether or not we might see a Star Wars series on the alphabet network sometime in the near future. ABC entertainment president Paul Lee raised the possibility himself back during the winter tour in January, and this past Sunday, according to Reuters, Lee had something to add. “We’ve started conversations with them,” Lee said. “I have an inkling in my mind, but they have a lot on their plate.”
True enough, Lucasfilm is said to be working on a Star Wars film for every year following the 2015 release of Star Wars Episode VII, so how on earth can they squeeze in full-blown production on a TV series as well? Still, Lee’s use of the phrase “inkling” is interesting, suggesting that there’s something in the works, even if it is just the discussion phase. Or perhaps some people are trying to get the long-in-the-works Star Wars: Underworld series going, that might be a treat. Time will tell, I guess.
What do you think, Bastards? Ready for another Star Wars series?
With that monumental acquisition of Lucasfilm by Disney last year the possibilities seem endless. Giving a franchise like Star Wars the added boost of the Disney juggernaught means we’ll be seeing new Star Wars material everywhere, all the time. Already we know new movies are in the works, with Episode VII set to release in 2015. Plus there’s the oncoming storm of merchandising and theme park tie-ins. What else could be down the line? Remember that long rumored live-action, Star Wars TV show? The one George Lucas and Rick McCallum claimed to have over 50 hours worth of scripts, then shelved the project due to their estimates it would cost about $5 million an episode to produce? Yeah, that one, which was tentatively titled Star Wars Underworld.
Well, Disney now sees an opportunity for this proposed live-action series and their network, ABC. Entertainment Weekly has the scoop that at the recent Television Critics Association press event, Paul Lee, president of ABC Entertainment, had this to say,
We’d love to do something with Lucasfilm, we’re not sure what yet. We haven’t even sat down with them. We’re going to look at [the live-action series], we’re going to look at all of them, and see what’s right. We weren’t able to discuss this with them until [the acquisition] closed and it just closed. It’s definitely going to be part of the conversation.
All right, so ABC seems open to the idea, but what about that staggering price tag per episode? Seems a good chunk of the estimated price was due to licensing, which a network would have had to pay Lucasfilm for the show. Not the case anymore with ABC being part of Disney who now own Lucasfilm. So the price has come down a little, and maybe it’s enough to actually see some forward momentum happen.
There’s also the consideration of becoming too over saturated with Star Wars? I know, some of us couldn’t ever imagine such a possibility, but you don’t want a TV show competing with the movies, and vice versa. Lee added,
It’s going to be very much up to the Lucasfilm brands how they want to play it. We got to a point here with Marvel, a very special point, where we’re in the Marvel universe, and very relevantly so, but we’re not doingThe Avengers. But S.H.I.E.L.D. is part of The Avengers. So maybe something oblique is the way to [approach the Star Wars universe] rather than going straight head-on at it.
In addition to the news the Star Wars live-action show might not be as shelved and gathering dust as we thought, the EW article also as a little more info about its premise,
Sources say the live-action series centers on the story of rival families struggling over the control of the seedy underside of the Star Wars universe and the people who live within the subterranean level and air shafts of the metropolis planet Coruscant (the Empire’s urban-sprawl-covered home planet). A bounty hunter may be the main character. Set between the original Star Wars film trilogy and the prequels, the time period allows for all sorts of potential appearances from classic figures from the Star Wars universe.
What are you thinking? Are Disney, ABC, and Lucasfilm blowing more hot air or could this show really begin to take off? Is ABC the network you want to see something like this Star Wars live-action show on?
Superhero fans everywhere are eagerly awaiting the pilot episode of Joss Whedon’s upcoming television show, S.H.I.E.L.D. that catapulted from the blockbuster movie The Avengers. Will the agents of S.H.I.E.L.D kick-ass and take names? Will the show rule? Of course, it will because Whedon’s involved. In Whedon we trust, it’s in the Nerd Handbook, and if there are still any doubters out there, ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee is here to sway you from the Dark Side.
Fred Topel from Crave Online managed to secure a number of quotes from Lee, as he took questions at the Television Critics Association in response to his confidence on the success of the pilot.
S.H.I.E.L.D marks Whedon’s triumphant return to the small screen after his movie success. One might expect him to be a bit rusty, but Lee says it isn’t so. Joss and ABC are coordinating the his schedule around the upcoming Marvel movies so Whedon can supervise the films and still have time to write scripts for S.H.I.E.L.D. Lee has plenty of faith in Joss’s talent saying:
“He’s already working on the scripts for the series. We will have to work. We shot it in Los Angeles to make sure that he is free to work across his feature life and his television life, but I love to see Joss who of course has made many great television shows in his day, enjoying television as much as movies. That’s flattering for us. We love that.”
Those are some kind words from the president although he hasn’t even seen the pilot himself yet. How this will blend into the Marvel universe is uncertain, but we can expect Whedon to have fan’s backs on this one while keeping the executives happy. When asked about what to expect, Lee assured people that this has everything in a show that we’ve come to expect from Joss saying:
“The truth about Joss is he has some great relationships in it so there are a lot of really funny male/female relationships that go through it. But it’s also Joss too and there’s a lot of action. Look, what we do do, I talk about the emotion of the network, that it’s smart with heart. There is something which I talk less about, that’s very real about this network, is we have more co-viewed shows. Absolutely Marvel has the ability to bring the whole family around it.”
One of the few worries for the pilot, and eventually the series should ABC approve and move forward, is the budget. Those that have tracked Whedon’s shows on television know the scale on which he operates and it’s cost him once or twice in the past. Lee assured attendees of the event though that everything is, and will remain under control as time goes on:
“On the one hand, we have to make shows that can sustain for many, many years and we’d love to see ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ go not just from pilot but to series, and not just from series but to last a long time. We’re a long way from that. We’d love to do that and we’re able to be much more ambitious on television because of the technology available. At the same time, look, we are ambitious with the show and we’re certainly investing to the levels of ‘Once Upon a Time’ and that’s an ambitious show.”
Read Fred’s entire article over at Crave Online it’s a great read, but stay with us for any new news before the Fall release of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC.
Television executives are often asked about shows in development and a single off hand remark can often be blown out of proportion and sink any chance a show might have of gathering an audience and building a fan base. Luckily, for those of us anxiously waiting for Joss Whedon‘s S.H.I.E.L.D., when ABC President Paul Lee talked with TVLine he said:
“It’s very Joss Whedon. We’re optimistic, because Joss is a genius and we love the idea and we love what we’ve seen. But it’s early days, and it’s a long way to go between now and a successful series. But we are very excited about it.”
Although this is the same guy who also said:
“The Neighbors is very important to me. I love The Neighbors. I know there are some issues with the high-concept nature of The Neighbors. But, when you get a chance to talk to Dan Fogelman, he is an incredibly smart writer. I think he will combine, in a way that I think Adam [Horowitz] and Eddie [Kitsis] do on Once Upon a Time, that very broad idea with a very smart piece of storytelling. We are loving the scripts for the show. I did want to protect it and make sure that it’s between The Middle and Modern Family. We want to give it that big push because we’re very proud of it, and we’re going to market it. I wanted to make sure that people started to enjoy the show because I want it to be on the air for a very long time.“
I don’t know about you but I couldn’t even get through the first episode of The Neighbors without nodding off and I quickly took it off my DVR list of shows to record.
The good news is that Paul Lee seems to be the type of person that will back the things he likes. If that gets S.H.I.E.L.D. any extra time or chances to get the show going then I’m all for it. I am not expecting S.H.I.E.L.D. to go through the type of issues of poor scheduling, promotion, and finally cancellation that Firefly went through.
What do you think?