Over the past eight years, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has grown to include a massive shared superhero universe spanning a dozen films, plus television series housed at ABC and Netflix - with more reportedly in the works at a variety of other networks. Still, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC was the first foray into the MCU for Marvel TV and it proved to be successful enough that the network also gave the green light to midseason relief series Agent Carter. Following the events of Captain America: The First Avenger and the Marvel short also titled Agent Carter, the series featured Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) going on missions for the Strategic Scientific Reserve.
Agent Carter ran for two seasons on ABC before being cancelled earlier this spring. Despite declining ratings, Agent Carter inspired a vocal group of fans who called for Netflix to save the series after cancellation, launching a petition that garnered over 127,000 signatures. However, now we know why the streaming service won't be shouldering Agent Carter season 3.
In an interview with EW, Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos was asked specifically why they chose not to save Agent Carter from cancellation. According to Sarandos, the fact that Netflix already had Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and the slate of upcoming Marvel titles in The Defenders world had to do with it:
“We’re looking for truly original brands to own, and in that Marvel space we already have [original comic book shows] – so that was mostly why.”
Further explaining the decision, Sarandos revealed that "it was a business decision more than a creative one" because Marvel's international deals for Agent Carter made it tricky for the streaming giant to pull the series under its umbrella and be able to release it globally.
Considering Netflix has brought other television series like Arrested Development and Gilmore Girls back after cancellation from their respective TV networks, and revived other projects like Full House for the rebooted series Fuller House, there was certainly some hope among fans that the streaming service would do the same for Agent Carter - especially since the company already had a relationship with Marvel. Plus, aside from fan interest, that star of the show was invested in its return; Atwell previously said she'd do "whatever it takes" to continue on with Agent Carter.
That said, Netflix does have plenty of Marvel series already in the works - Luke Cage debuts later this year followed by Iron Fist, The Defenders, follow up seasons of established shows, and The Punisher spinoff. If the company is planning on developing the TV universe already under its umbrella, which is both critically acclaimed and beloved by fans, it doesn't necessarily need whatever added viewers Agent Carter would bring in - especially if Netflix isn't able to release Agent Carter in all its territories.
Still, while Netflix hasn't picked up Agent Carter, there are other streaming services out there, including Amazon and Hulu, that may bring Peggy back to work. But, it remains to be seen whether Agent Carter will live on.
We’ll keep you updated on Agent Carter as more information becomes available.
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