The Marvel Cinematic Universe expands beyond the big screen. Television shows also help flesh out the MCU. What lies ahead for all of these shows? Here are a few insights into the future for Marvel Television.

Marvel Television on ABC Began with Phil

ABC first aired MARVEL’S AGENTS OF SHIELD in 2013, following the widespread release of THE AVENGERS in 2012. In it, Agent Phil Coulson leads a special operations team to combat threats of the super-powered and other-worldly. It is the oldest and longest running MCU Television show to date.

Marvel Television
Photo Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

They are currently airing their 5th season. The first season has some significant growing pains but ends on a high note. While the seasons following have had bumps in the road as well, the overall consensus is that it is a well-done and enjoyable show. Out of all of the MCU television offerings, AGENTS OF SHIELD contains the most tie-in references to the films and is the most connective. The 6th season will most likely air next year.

Then There was Peggy

Another show that aired on ABC from 2015-2016 was AGENT CARTER.  The show follows the life of Agent Peggy Carter after her film appearance in CAPTAIN AMERICA.

In the show, Peggy is struggling after the end of WWII.  Working for the SSR, she deals with having to prove herself capable in a field dominated by men. She also has to endure the loss of her love, Steve Rogers (Captain America). The show received positive fan reception, garnering a cult following.

Revisiting Agent Carter (2015)

Played by Haley Atwell, Peggy became a favorite character for many fans who were enjoying seeing her work as a spy, using gadgets made for her by Howard Stark. However, after its second season, ABC canceled the show. According to Atwell herself, the cancellation was due to the network decision.

Wanting her to be on a show that was more mainstream (CONVICTION), ABC felt that AGENT CARTER had a smaller demographic and following then they wanted. Fans of Peggy are consistently campaigning for her return to either on the small or big screen. They aren’t choosy.

Network Fails and Future Shows for Marvel Television

In 2017, ABC aired MARVEL’S INHUMANS, a show about a kingdom of Inhumans (super-powered individuals) living on the moon. INHUMANS ran for eight episodes…and it did not go well. From the very first promotional photos to its first trailer, Marvel fans grew concerned as to the show’s overall success and accuracy of its source material.

They were pretty much right. The plot is poor and derivative, and many scenes do not land as intended. Many consider INHUMANS to be a significant black mark on the MCU’s pretty decent track record. It probably won’t return for a second season. It will be surprising if it does.

Marvel Television
Photo Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

In the future, ABC’s other channel, Freeform will air CLOAK AND DAGGER, a show about a powered teenage romance. They are also planning a series about a young team of heroes called NEW WARRIORS. This series will feature characters like Speedball and Squirrel Girl!

However, AGENTS OF SHIELD is the only MCU show on network television as of right now. While there have been some other spin-offs and original shows proposed, none have gone into production. A reason for this could be television’s transition to streaming services.

Marvel Television on Netflix and Hulu

Marvel Television
Photo Courtesy of Marvel Entertainment

There are six MCU shows on Netflix: DAREDEVIL, JESSICA JONES, LUKE CAGE, IRON FIST, and THE DEFENDERS where all four of those titular characters come together as a reluctant team. There is also the recently released DAREDEVIL spin-off THE PUNISHER.

These shows offer the more grounded and gritty regions of the MCU. All six shows show overall success, with the best arguably being DAREDEVIL and the worst undoubtedly being IRON FIST. DAREDEVIL, the oldest show having released in 2015, has two seasons while the others have one season with potentially more as time goes on.

RUNAWAYS Episode 8 Sees a Divided Team of Runaways

Hulu, another popular streaming service, has recently joined the MCU ranks with its recent release of MARVEL’S RUNAWAYS. A group of teenagers discover that the parents they have are super-villains. They band together, acquiring abilities of their own to try to stop them. This is the MCU’s first venture into the young adult genre and has gained enthusiastic reception by fans.  They love the characters for their real interactions and struggles. RUNAWAYS is expected to have a second season.

Disney has Plans

As it stands, streaming services contain the most Marvel Television content, but that could soon change.  There’s a good possibility that all of the different media outlets for MCU shows could be streamlined.  With the recent announcement that Disney will be creating its own streaming service for its content, the shows that exist on services such as Netflix and Hulu could be in jeopardy.

In their press release about the new service, Disney claims that new original content will be coming just for their service. This news raises the question of what the future holds for the current MCU shows spanning across network television, Netflix, and Hulu. Will those shows get canceled? Will they move over to Disney’s streaming service? Is that even logistically possible? Probably not.

Marvel Television
Photo Courtesy of Disney

Because Disney owns ABC and Freeform, those shows will probably remain where they are as long as their ratings remain stable. As for Hulu, Disney does have a stake in their company so RUNAWAYS will most likely get at least one more season. The real problem lies with Netflix.

When the Disney service goes live in 2019, all of the Disney content currently on Netflix will be pulled. While Netflix is presently producing second seasons for JESSICA JONES, LUKE CAGE, IRON FIST and the third season for DAREDEVIL, it’s unknown if Disney will terminate their contract after that. Until we know more, it seems as though the days for the Defenders are numbered.

As far as the new original content planned for the Disney service, it is unknown as to what it could be. Although, many fingers are crossed for rumored new Marvel shows or even a live-action Star Wars show! Either option or both would certainly be enough to get me to subscribe.

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  1. […] many other entertainment giants, Disney will be an active player in the world of streaming services very soon. We don’t know much about Disney’s newest venture to the small screen, but reports have the […]

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