While Marvel has had a lot of TV success with the Netflix series and recently Hulu’s Runaways, Fox’s The Gifted and FX’s Legion, the track record of Marvel dramas on corporate sibling ABC has been mixed.
The strongest series has been Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., whose renewal prospects are looking promising, judging by comments by ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey during the network TCA executive session today.
“Creatively, this season I honestly think is the strongest that it’s ever been, and we’ve been really excited about what the producers are talking about for the second half of the season,” Dungey said.
The producers are expected to soon meet with ABC executives to pitch their ideas for Season 6, which will factor into the network’s renewal decision.
Meanwhile, the other Marvel ABC series, Inhumans, is not expected to come back. Because of scheduling constraints stemming from Disney and Marvel’s deal with IMAX, it had to hit a Labor Day release window to fit into Marvel’s feature release schedule. Getting the special effects-heavy series ready in time proved to be a race against the clock and the result was a show panned by critics and largely shunned by viewers with low ratings on Friday following the IMAX theatrical release of the pilot.
“It didn’t perform for us at the level that we would have wanted,” Dungey said. “We haven’t made any official decisions yet but I will say the numbers were less exciting for us as we hoped they would be.”
If renewed, S.H.I.E.L.D could be the only Marvel series on ABC next fall as there will be no Marvel pilots at ABC this pilot season.
“We developed a couple things this season that we don’t think are going to end up going forward, so we’re going to look really carefully about what we do next,” Dungey said.