ABC in Talks to Develop ‘Star Wars’ TV Shows

Published 2 years ago by , Updated May 20th, 2014 at 9:00 am,

star wars yoda movie ABC in Talks to Develop Star Wars TV Shows

We’ve already seen Disney’s relationship with Marvel bear fruit for ABC’s TV programming with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and while it’s conceivable to theorize that further exploration into the world of Marvel superheroes could happen if that show succeeds, it seems like ABC is also interested in plucking a few riches from a galaxy far, far away as well.

Yes, apparently Star Wars may be on the table for ABC, but it seems as though the development process could take quite some time, due to the lengthy film franchise reboot that is in presently underway.

Here’s ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee at the TCAs, delivering his thoughts on mining more from Marvel and the beginning flickers of relationship between his network and the voluminous Star Wars universe.

We are loving this relationship. We have lots of little schemes, in the back of our mind. We haven’t quite got one ready that we can announce yet. But the relationship with Marvel, and actually with other Disney IP, across the company, is something that we’re ambitious to build, absolutely. [...]

I certainly have a glint in my eye. Look, they have a lot on their plate with the features that they’re planning and rolling out for the next few years. But, we’ve started conversations with them, and it would be nice to see, over the next few years, that we could use other strong Disney IP, besides the ones lying behind S.H.I.E.L.D. I would love to go there.  I’m a particular fan of LucasFilm.  It’s an amazing world.

Obviously, as is the case with S.H.I.E.L.D., any Star Wars project would be made in addition to the movieverse, so it’s not like we’re primed for a project that would focus on Han Solo or Boba Fett. Like Marvel, though, the Star Wars bench is deep, especially when you take into account the plethora of characters created in the expanded universe.

Star Wars Episode 7 Boba Fett Actor Comments ABC in Talks to Develop Star Wars TV Shows

There’s also the Star Wars: Underworld live-action TV concept that had 50 scripts written and filed away already. Prior to his $4 billion dollar mega-deal with Disney, Underworld had been pursued by George Lucas and producer Rick McCallum for a time before being benched due to the high estimated cost of each episode. Obviously now, though, things have changed. For one thing, McCallum is no longer with LucasFilm, and George Lucas is no longer in charge.

Could ABC press ahead with something like that project, cutting some corners to achieve more reasonable production costs? Anything is possible, and we know that Paul Lee previously name checked the Underworld project in January when he previously spoke on an alliance between LucasFilm and ABC, but it seems logical to assume that breaths are being held until S.H.I.E.L.D. hits or misses.

Let’s face it: everyone wants the next Walking Dead and all the trappings that comes with being the latest genre hit. S.H.I.E.L.D. could be it, but ABC is striding on uneven ground.

Sure, superhero shows have worked on network TV before (Lois & Clark, Smallville, Arrow), but none have had the expectations that S.H.I.E.L.D. has on its shoulders. This needs to be a massive hit to justify future similar endeavors, and it is probably fair to say that a live action Star Wars series falls into that same realm because of the similar audience, the scope and cost of such a project, and the very loud thud that a failure would make.

agents shield tv show joss whedon ABC in Talks to Develop Star Wars TV Shows

In the same way that ABC needs to see Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. shine and demonstrate sustained success to justify a true exploration into the world of Star Wars when the time is right, taking on the challenge of pleasing that set of rabid fans, LucasFilm needs to know that they’re not taking on too much risk as well.

In this world of connected projects that Marvel helped establish, everything flows back to the mother ship, with successes breading confidence and confidence breading ambition. As of now, no Marvel-owned live-action project has tasted failure, allowing them to ride that ambition to some pretty cool places like a connected television show and an ever expanding movieverse.

What happens if someone makes Marvel bleed, though? Perhaps they become a little more cautious with where they step and perhaps they lose some of that confidence, or worse, perhaps the fandom loses some confidence in them, weighing down fiscal returns. That’s not something LucasFilm can risk as they and Disney try to delicately re-build a franchise that has shed enough blood and lost enough fans over the years.

Like Lee said, LucasFilm has a lot on their plate right now, but one imagines that the Star Wars team is likely keeping an eye on ABC and Marvel’s plate as well.


Stay tuned to Screen Rant for all of your Star Wars TV show news.

Source: Collider

Follow Jason Tabrys on Twitter @jtabrys
TAGS: Star wars
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  1. DO IT!

  2. Star Wars saturation is starting to kick in already, I’d be happy with the proposed 3 sequel episodes and leave it at that.

    However, we’re not only getting sequels, but spin-off movies, animated TV shows, video games and now a live action show.

    I’ve loved Star Wars for as long as I can remember, but I fear too much of a good thing will dilute my appetite for more adventures in a galaxy far far away….

  3. They need to hurry up that’s what they need to do. Please let this be. And let it be good. It has so much potential.

  4. I know Star Wars and Star Trek are incredibly different, but why can Star Trek have 12 movies and about 30 combined years of TV…yet Star Wars shouldn’t be messed with anymore? If done right, both the upcoming movies and potential TV shows could be awesome. I’m willing to see what they have to offer, rather than just keep re-watching Episodes IV, V, VI (although I’ll keep doing that too).

    • lol…good point

  5. Star Wars is a space opera, it doesn’t belong on the small screen. I’d rather them make 50 more movies than a television series.

    • There’s enough in Star Wars that you can have a good tv show…focus it on a smaller setting during the Imperial/Rebel war or focus it on Boba Fett. It doesn’t have to be the large scale adventure that the films are. I think a Rogue Squadron show would be pretty cool.

  6. give me all of the star wars. everyone needs to remember that we dont have to follow the core group. There is so many great stories in the universe that just wouldnt work in a movie, but would be perfect for TV. i would love to see underworld happen.

  7. A television series could work either as an anthology or an episodic drama/adventure. I would prefer they stay away from the original characters and focous on a different group of characters. It is a big Universe after all,

  8. I fear Disney is going to bleed star wars and Marvel dry and then throne into the vault. I fear this whole TV route their going with will eventually be the death of both franchises and once both the franchises become stale they’ll start making for ‘cash and grab’. I guess enjoy it while last…

  9. No. Why ? Not enough budget to make a decent Star Wars tv show with all the CGI required. I don’t want Jedi’s battles with the quality effect of a BSG or Firefly. Leave it to the bigscreen

    • Unless it’s HBO.
      Anything HBO touch become gold.

    • Right, because the effects in the original trilogy are so wonderful…

    • There was absolutely nothing wrong with the quality of FX in BSG.

      If a Star Wars series could simply do that, but with a little more scale and scope, it would do fine.

  10. If it relies on SHIELD its doomed.

    • “If it relies on SHIELD its doomed”

      And why is that? do you have some inside scoop or a crystal ball that tells ya the future? I hate people that make comments on movies or shows that are not even out and say things like that…. wait until is out and if it sucks it sucks but it could also be great..

      • Because its yet another cop show in the SEA of shows.
        No one went to see Avengers because SHIELD was in it.

        • Well, so long as you have an open mind!!


          We will see. A lot of the early looks at the pilot share your worries. But this is one of those areas we really need to see where they take this concept. SHEILD would not be called in to handle simple psycho killers. They would be called in for MAJOR psycho killers. That may set it in it’s own little niche on TV.

        • @Blade

          Correction: it’s a ‘Joss Whedon’ cop show. With some superhero stuff thrown in there guess.

          My point being that any show that brings Joss back to the small screen is a good thing, regardless of premise.

  11. Rick McCallum is no longer with LucasFilm?! Awwww, what a cool producer George had working for him. I trust ABC enough to get this series right.

    • You know, it is ABC That also put Last Resort on.

      Star Wars would do better on Cable or channels like the CW. Maybe Disney should invest in a TV Network in line with the CW. That way they can put shows on at a lower cost and go could go more years.

      Network TV, it is a Sea full of Sharks.

      • Disney really needs to launch an entirely new station to carry their IP-based shows. Or, I guess more in keeping with their past (and it being a much better idea,) they need to buy an established one. When I think ABC, I think overly family friendly. I know that may not be the case with everything they do, but it’s the majority.

        All Disney owns in terms of stations is Docu-channels (quickly becoming realityTV channels,) ABC (family, family, family,) and Lifetime (Valerie Bertanelli, Agent of Shield.) None of these are ever going to have the freedom (or balls) to put out something comparable to Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, or even Firefly. That’s not saying I need an overly gritty Marvel or Lucas tv show, but I do need something that isn’t dumbed down.

        By trying to cater to every conceivable demographic, I’m afraid these shows will appeal to none. In terms of the Marvel IP, Kids don’t go to see The Avengers or Iron Man to see Coulson… They want the spectacle and the action. Even though the team behind Agents of SHIELD has specifically stated that the show is meant to be about normals in a world of supers, for the vast majority of viewers who aren’t following show updates or SDCC, there is an implied promise of the super heroes… if they don’t deliver within two episodes on that… this show will be short-lived.

        That’s not me trying to be a naysayer, I really want this show to succeed… I’m just getting more and more nervous about it as it approaches.

  12. I think this would be interesting if it’s just a side story and not a something with a big impact on the new trilogy I think it would be cool to see a boba fett tv show that would be sick

    • Yeah, if we get a Star Wars live action tv show, I would not want it to be based around the jedi. Not that I would not want to see them on the show, but just not as main characters. I would love to see a show centered around a bounty hunter or a squad of rebels/clones. Hey, even doing a show built around Han and Chewbacca would be kinda cool, seeing their adventures before Star Wars: A New Hope took place. Think about it, a buddy cop show in space.

  13. i am glad they are talking a few years down the road. where Disney takes Star Wars remains to be seen. Those of us true Star Wars geeks are cheering for a nod to the expanded universe. So much to mine there from so many creative writers. But, if Disney goes off in other directions, that really may push where something like this develops.

  14. A star wars tv series would be awesome but they really need to do their homework to get it done right.

  15. They should do it. I will definitely be watching it.

  16. I’d be okay with that.

  17. ABC is definitely the wrong place for underworld !
    Would love the new star wars show to be something different and dark in tone !
    Game of Thrones,Sopranos style would have been nice as previously stated !
    A more mature show ! But really doubt it will be such on ABC…thats too family friendly !

  18. Hey I’ve got a cool idea for a Star Wars show! It could be about the crew of a small cargo ship trying to make it as smugglers in a harsh, empire-ruled galaxy.

    You have the captain, a Han Solo type and a former member of the rebellion. Then you could have a brother and sister pair who are fugitives from the empire. And the sister is force sensitive so she can do crazy stuff with her mind…

  19. Will the cookie monster make an appearance?

  20. They should have a jar jar binks comedy hour

  21. It all comes down to story, and characters. With the right mixture of both you can have something special. However, a TV series, in the traditional sense is the wrong way to go. Think about this a series similar to American Horror story, Star Wars Universe: Rouge Squadron, as your first season, second season you do it based on the Bountyhunters. Every season gives you a storyline based in different places and times of the expanded universe. That way its a self contained storyline that can help with the overall production of the show

  22. The problem with these shows is there is too much that is off limits due to controlling interests. You won’t see any major characters from the Avengers universe in SHIELD. Smallville never had Clark truly become Superman. These shows just become too much of a tease with audiences. Face it, the real control is in the feature film department.

    The reality is even if some specific era and events are covered during the same time period a movie’s timeline. All of what was covered outside the film can be tossed aside if it contradicts a storyline change.

    I think a show set in the Star Wars universe would be interesting, but it will never cover any of the major characters that fans love. We won’t see Vader hunting down Jedi. We won’t see Luke or Leia growing up. We won’t see Han smuggling.

    Again the shows are too much of tease. They can’t make them too grand and epic otherwise they will be compared and critiqued against the real money makers, the films. And if the shows are superior to the films then the films lose their status and fans turn away.

    Look at why Trek NG films failed. The films followed too closely to the series and the films became nothing more than glorified episodes of the show that where passed off as big budget epic films. They weren’t even close.