ABC isn’t giving up on Marvel Television just yet. Despite a few failures to launch and a reduced episode order for the one Marvel series left on the network, ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey isn’t ready to concede all superhero adventures to Disney’s upcoming streaming service.
“We’re cooking up a couple things for broadcast,” Channging tells The Hollywood Reporter. “There’s one that I want to talk about and [Marvel TV head] Jeph Loeb won’t let me.”
Having Marvel shows in development is nothing new for ABC. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff Marvel’s Most Wanted, the half-hour comedy Damage Control, and a show created by John Ridley have all been developed for the network, but failed to make it to series.
Marvel Television simply hasn’t had the same staying power on ABC that its enjoyed on Netflix. Since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiered in September 2013, only two other Marvel series have aired on ABC. Agent Carter lasted two short seasons and Inhumans got eight episodes last year.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been moved to summer for its upcoming sixth season. It will also have fewer episodes than the previous five seasons. This is not meant to signal the end of the series, however, as Dungey hopes the summer season will extend the show’s life.
Marvel Television series have never been big winners in the ratings for ABC. It’s completely understandable for the network to take a cautious approach to launching new Marvel series. If there’s at least one show that Dungey wants to but can’t talk about, perhaps that potential series may at least be part of the next pilot season.
Of course, the launch of Disney’s director-to-consumer streaming service next year may ultimately impact Marvel Television’s future on ABC. While it’s premature to suggest Marvel will stop developing ideas for ABC, it’s not hard to imagine the streaming service getting priority treatment from Disney (and therefore Marvel) to ensure the service offers the most value it can at launch.
For now, though, we’ll cross our fingers and hope that one of those Marvel shows being cooked up at ABC actually gets served.
SOURCE: The Hollywood Reporter