Overall, Marvel has a phenomenal track record when it comes to the MCU and its television universes. Captain America: Civil War is knocking down a big box office take on the big screen, while Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daredevil and Jessica Jones on Netflix are just starting to hit their stride. However, not everything in the Marvel world has a rosy hue to it.
TVLine reports that ABC has canceled the Hayley Atwell-led proto-S.H.I.E.L.D. program after a shy 18-episode run. The move comes despite a poll on the site which found that 83 percent of readers wanted to see Ms. Carter return for a third season. Unfortunately, the ratings spoke volumes to the network, with the sophomore show pulling in a .07 demographic rating. The season 2 finale also only drew 2.35 million viewers, which is respectable, if not strong enough to keep ABC funding the show’s high production costs
The cancellation also comes at a tenuous time where the two main elements of Marvel are experiencing an apparent schism. While the cancellation shouldn’t affect the overall continuity of Marvel’s TV realms, in combination with ABC passing on Marvel’s Most Wanted, it could affect the company’s desire to develop further network programming. Still, with Luke Cage and Iron Fist in progress at Netflix and further projects like Cloak & Dagger, The Punisher, and Damage Control in development, Agent Carter’s loss shouldn’t hurt Marvel’s television world too much.
While Agent Carter won’t return for a third round, Atwell herself will return to ABC next fall in Conviction – where she plays the director of an newly formed agency that investigates wrongful convictions. Unfortunately, it’s not the fledgling agency fans of the show have been looking forward to. In its two scant seasons, Agent Carter laid the foundation for a little covert defense force named S.H.I.E.L.D. Watching Howard Stark and Peggy Carter move toward the clandestine group’s foundation was a fascinating storyline on the show. While fans may have been robbed of the opportunity for more of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s backstory (and Jarvis and his wife), Agent Carter still has a slim chance of survival – online.
Although there are no guarantees, it wouldn’t be the first time a canceled show with popular appeal was saved via streaming services. Shows like Arrested Development, The Killing, and Community all found new life online. And with Marvel’s pre-existing Defenders expanding on Netflix, it’s quite possible the streaming service could squeeze one more superhero show into their crowded Marvel docket. But such dreams may require Atwell to first move away from her new show at ABC.
Screen Rant will have more details for you regarding Agent Carter and Marvel’s Most Wanted (if and) when they are available. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 concludes with ‘Absolution/Ascension’ Tuesday May 17 at 9pm on ABC.