The Marvel Cinematic Universe is riding high on the film side of its enterprise with Captain America: Civil War doing massive box office without even opening in the U.S. for another few days, while the studio’s Netflix ventures are basking in audience excitement at the announcement of a solo series for The Punisher. But on the broadcast television side, things aren’t holding so consistent. While Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been renewed for season 4, the fates of Agent Carter and the S.H.I.E.L.D. spin-off series Marvel’s Most Wanted have remained unsure.
Now, with the ABC Network’s official upfront renewal announcements two weeks out, the status of these bubble series may be emerging more clearly.
Deadline, Variety, and THR report that while Marvel’s Most Wanted is likely (though not guaranteed) to warrant a pickup, season 3 of Agent Carter is looking like a no-go — in part, no doubt, to the sagging ratings and lukewarm reception to the Captain America spin-off’s second season. Another reason, of course, is that star Hayley Atwell has already committed to the (non-Marvel-related) ABC drama procedural Conviction, where she’s set to play a former “bad girl” first daughter who becomes head of a special LAPD unit that investigates cases of potential wrongful-conviction.
Marvel’s Most Wanted recently completed production of a pilot hoping to net a first season order. A spinoff from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the series is set to feature fan-favorite characters Lance Hunter and Bobbi “Mockingbird” Morse as a formerly married pair of ex-S.H.I.E.L.D. agents who join a do-gooder mercenary outfit headed up by Delroy Lindo’s mysterious Dominic Fortune. The series has been in the works since the end of Agents season 2, but was briefly shelved only to be revived earlier this year.
The moves come during a time of unease for the non-film side of the Marvel Universe, with persistent rumors of tension between the studios various arms continuing to mount. While the multi-platform continuity has always been shakily managed given the differences between TV and film production schedules, the recent separation of Marvel Films into its own corporate entity within Disney under the sole leadership of MCU architect Kevin Feige is said to have strained relations further; as the TV and streaming productions are still controlled by Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter — a notoriously difficult figure with whom Feige (along with many other memebers of the MCU creative teams) is said to have clashed over the years. Some analysts have cited the recent “indefinite delay” of The Inhumans movie, said to have been part of a pet-project of Perlmutter’s to neutralize the popularity of the non-exclusively Marvel X-Men franchise, as evidence of this widening divide — with the Inhumans storyline (for now) exclusively confined to the events of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
On the other hand, Marvel has continued to strike new broadcast TV deals elsewhere, with a series based on Cloak & Dagger being picked up for the Freeform cable channel (formerly ABC Family). And while such rumors, if even partially true, likely put a damper on long-held fan hopes to see the likes of Daredevil or Jessica Jones turn up alongside the movie heroes. Fans will also do well to recall that it was less than a year ago that Spider-Man rejoining the MCU was widely viewed as impossible as well.
Screen Rant will have more details for you regarding Marvel’s Most Wanted and Agent Carter as they are made available.