Despite a splashy debut, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has failed to truly become a hit for ABC — while Agent Carter has already been canceled and the spinoff series Most Wanted failed to make it past the pilot stage. So, how do they plan on turning things around?
It wouldn’t be so obvious if Netflix didn’t continue to churn out award-winning Marvel adaptations from the comic canon, providing ample proof these shows can be made really, really well. So, while speaking at the Television Critics Association (TCA) summer press tour, ABC’s Channing Dungey noted the network is still very much in the Marvel business — recent missteps or not.
The Most Wanted pilot was a bizarre pitch from the start, spinning off two of the better characters from S.H.I.E.L.D. (Bobbi Morse and Lance Hunter) to go on a globe-trotting mission. But it seems the studio could never really figure out what the series was supposed to be, so ABC passed. Twice. Here’s what Dungey had to say about that experiment:
“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.”
As for the future, Dungey said the network is still actively pursuing ways to leverage the Marvel brand on the small screen, and they’re not giving up anytime soon. But we’d imagine the network’s next effort will look a little different than the past few shows. Because if a flagship project like S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t a ratings hit (with the pedigree of Joss Whedon behind it, no less), it’s a hard nut to crack. Maybe the next show will be a bit more … super? Here’s what Dungey had to say:
“We’re looking at a number of different things. Some of them are projects that we’ve worked on before and others are totally new ideas and IP.”
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns this fall to ABC, and will be the only Marvel show on the network (at least for now).