With the rising popularity of superhero stories and shared universes on the big screen, comic book characters have seen a massive resurgence on television as well that includes series like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Arrow, The Flash, and Supergirl. Meanwhile networks are continuing to develop both super and non-super stories, drawing inspiration from all kinds of comics. Despite the popularity of comic-related properties though, it seems some may think TV viewers are reaching superhero fatigue; TNT Chief Creative Officer Kevin Reilly recently explained that the network passed on a Teen Titans series because of market saturation.
However, there are a number of comic book superhero series still in development, with ABC working on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff Most Wanted, which recently received a pilot order, as well as the comedy Damage Control, and NBC officially ordering DC Comics sitcom Powerless to pilot. Now, further diving into the comedic side of superheroes, ABC has revealed they’re developing a second Marvel-inspired sitcom.
In an interview with IGN at ABC’s Television Critics Association 2016 winter press tour party, ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee revealed that the network has two comedies inspired by Marvel Comics in development. The first is Damage Control, which was initially reported to be in development last year. It will be a half-hour single-camera situation comedy based on the titular company from the comics that is tasked with cleaning up after superheroes. Former Daily Show and Colbert Report executive producer Ben Karlin developed Damage Control and penned the pilot script. He’ll also be serving as executive producer with Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb and David Miner (Brooklyn Nine-Nine).
The second Marvel comedy is less clear since Lee offered no details about what it would focus on, he only said, “in the long term, we’d love it to be” on ABC. But, in terms of Damage Control, Lee did say it would be “coming out this season” likely meaning later this year, and “I haven’t read it yet. I can’t wait to see it. We hope it’s going to be great.” Additionally according to Lee, the development of a second Marvel sitcom is a push to include more types of television series on the network: “We definitely want to do Marvel comedies as well as dramas and of course, as you know, we supply lots of dramas to Netflix.”
So far, ABC already airs two hour-long dramas: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter — both spun off from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Now, with Marvel’s Most Wanted, Damage Control, the unnamed comedy pilot, and John Ridley’s project, ABC could potentially have a total of six Marvel Comics programs. These will be a part of the MCU, in addition to Marvel and Netflix’s Defenders universe that so far includes Daredevil and Jessica Jones, and is gearing up to add Luke Cage and Iron Fist in the coming years. All this is to say the television side of Marvel has grown significantly in the past year and will continue to expand despite other networks’ concerns about superhero fatigue.
Of course, although Damage Control seems to be all-but-guaranteed to air on ABC, it’s uncertain whether this second comedy will make it past the development stage. The climate of superhero television saw some major changes in 2015, largely for the better. But, with so many more series headed to television or currently in development like FOX’s Lucifer, AMC’s Preacher, FX’s Legion, and NBC’s Powerless, just to name a few — it’s possible some of them won’t make it to air, as we saw with TNT halting development on Titans. Still, if superhero shows continue to be as successful as we’ve seen in recent years, we may see both of ABC’s Marvel comedies sharing the screen with plenty of other superhero programs in the coming years.
We’ll keep you updated on Damage Control and ABC’s second Marvel comedy as more information becomes available.
Agent Carter season 2 premieres Tuesday, January 19th, 2016 at 9pm on ABC. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 returns on Tuesday, March 8th at 9pm on ABC.