Why Marvel is breaking the TV rules to keep S.H.I.E.L.D. a secret

Contributed by
Aug 9, 2013

There are some pretty typical, established rules when it comes to promoting a new television series — and Marvel is breaking just about all of them when it comes to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

The company, along with ABC, has decided not to send out screener copies of the pilot as we head into the fall. What’s that mean? Most critics, unless they caught one of the handful of screenings in recent weeks, will be seeing it for the first time right along with the rest of us when it premieres.

It’s a pretty gutsy move, but it just goes to show the movie-style approach they’re taking with the series. They’d never send out the new Avengers movie beforehand and risk it leaking, so why do it with S.H.I.E.L.D.? Heck, at the latest screening, security confiscated the ABC president’s phone just to be sure no footage could show up online. Now that’s hardcore.

Talking with The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel TV exec Jeph Loeb had a pretty intriguing response when asked why they’re being so secretive about a pilot. He said it’s mostly an effort to re-create the old notion of “appointment TV:”

"What we are trying to do with this show is just bring back some of the urgency of television. While we absolutely welcome the idea of you downloading it or you DVRing it -- because that's the way the people are watching TV -- but wouldn't it be great if we could get back to a place where, at 8 p.m. on Tuesday nights, everybody got together and decided to watch Marvel's Agents of SHIELD so that that social experience is actually one that's immediate as opposed to something that is shared and reshared and spoiled and then unrevealed and all of the other things that go along with it."

There’s no denying that all the secrecy has led to an ample amount of buzz, but all we’ve got to say is it better be good after such a long wait. The show premieres on Tuesday, Sept. 24, so we’ll know soon enough.

Do you like that Marvel has taken their super-secret movie approach to the small screen, or does it just seem like overkill?

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)

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