Hayley Atwell first appeared as Peggy Carter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase 1 film Captain America: The First Avenger, acting as a love interest and fellow soldier to Steve Rodgers (Chris Evans). Then, she appeared in the Marvel one-shot, Agent Carter, that was spun-off into the ABC drama series currently airing its sophomore season on the network.
However, although Agent Carter hasn't necessarily been a ratings powerhouse - especially compared to fellow Marvel/ABC drama Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s series premiere ratings - the show did secure a second season. Now, though, Agent Carter may be affected by a something aside from possible cancellation: sharing its leading lady with a fellow ABC drama series.
Deadline is reporting Atwell has been cast in the new ABC pilot, Conviction, a legal drama created by Liz Friedman (Jessica Jones) and Liz Friedlander (The Following). Conviction is still in the pilot stages of development, but if ABC gives it a series order, the network will make sure Atwell's schedule can accommodate both shows. As for whether or not Agent Carter will continue after its current season, nothing has been confirmed as of yet. But, according to Deadline, it "does not look likely" the show will receive a season 3.
Friedman penned the Conviction script and Friedlander will direct the pilot while both will serve as executive producers. Atwell has been cast as the series' lead, Carter Morrison, "the brilliant but ne’er-do-well daughter of a former President, who is blackmailed into taking a job as the head of Los Angeles’ newly created Conviction Integrity Unit." Morrison works with a team of lawyers, investigators, and forensic experts looking into cases where the wrong person may have been convicted of a crime.
Based on the report of Atwell's casting in the Conviction pilot, it seems as though the new show won't affect her role as Peggy in Agent Carter. With the Marvel drama having limited series runs - season 1 consisted of eight episodes while season 2 will be 10 - and airing during the winter hiatus of the network's main programming, that leaves plenty of time for the actress to also star in Conviction. That is, if it's given a season 3 order.
Whether Agent Carter will return for a third season is another question entirely. Although Conviction won't affect the renewal of Agent Carter, the 1940s spy drama may not be granted a third run due to its ratings. Certainly, with two Marvel Comics comedies in development, including Damage Control and another unnamed project, in addition to the drama series being developed by John Ridley (American Crime), the network has plenty of comic book-based series coming down the line. So, if Agent Carter were to be cancelled, ABC has plenty of other Marvel series to take its place - especially with the S.H.I.E.L.D. spinoff Most Wanted recently ordered to pilot.
Although Agent Carter viewers may be enjoying the Marvel heroine's adventures in the 1940s - and how they could possibly explore the S.H.I.E.L.D. organization's creation - ABC may need to cut back on its current comic book lineup in order to make room for upcoming projects. But, if Conviction does end up with a series order, Atwell fans will be able to tune in to the ABC legal drama to see the actress more often.
Agent Carter continues with ‘Life of the Party’ and ‘Monsters’ on February 16th at 9pm on ABC.