Sometimes the most important super heroes are the ones behind the scene. Marvel Television is heading to the half-hour live-action comedy arena with Damage Control, a single-camera comedy project based on the Marvel Comics books, which has received a put pilot commitment from ABC.
Developed for TV by former Daily Show and Colbert Report executive producer Ben Karlin, Damage Control follows the overworked, underpaid, clean up crew of the Marvel Universe. Specializing in dealing with the aftermath of the unique fallout from superhero conflicts, they’re the ones who are in charge of returning lost ray guns to their rightful owners, help to reschedule a wedding venue after it has been vaporized in a superhero battle, or even track down a missing prize African parrot that’s been turned to stone or goo.
Introduced in 1988 and getting their first storyline the next year in Marvel Comics Presents, Damage Control has a recurring presence on the pages of Marvel Comics, and has been the subject of four limited series to date. Dwayne McDuffie and Ernie Colón created the concept. Notably, the outfit played a key role in the events of the 2006-2007 “Civil War” crossover,though they’re not featured in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, loosely based on that arc.
Karlin will write the script for the project, which he executive produces alongside 3 Arts’ David Miner and Marvel’s head of television Jeph Loeb. Marvel Television is producing with ABC Studios where the company is based. Karlin’s involvement in Damage Control stems from his overall deal with ABC Studios. Many writers on the studio roster are interested in developing Marvel properties, and the comic book-based company has been very selective in the concepts that proceed to development.
Marvel TV has two drama series on ABC, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Agent Carter, and a pilot for a S.H.I.E.L.D. offshoot toplined by Adrianne Palicki & Nick Blood. Additionally, the company has a four-series superhero package at Netflix.
Damage Control joins another superhero-themed half-hour comedy project, DC’s Powerless, which has a pilot production commitment at NBC.
Karlin, who won 9 Emmys for his work on The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, recently served as writer-producer on ABC comedy Modern Family. He is repped by UTA and 3 Arts. Marvel Television is repped by CAA.