ABC has given a production commitment to an untitled hourlong drama from Heinberg, Marvel Television and ABC Studios. Written by Heiinberg, it is about female characters with superpowers.
In typical Marvel fashion, further details are being kept close to the vest, but I hear the drama is based on lesser-known Marvel characters. There have been a number of fairly obscure female superhero team-ups that have appeared sporadically in Marvel comics over the years, including A-Force, Lady Liberators and Fearless Defenders.
Heinberg, who is under an overall deal at ABC Studios, is executive producing the potential series with Marvel Television’s Jeph Loeb.
Launching a new Marvel series has been a priority for ABC, with the Heinberg project emerging as a strong contender from the get-go, I hear.
“In terms of Marvel, we have some things that we are in discussions with them right now that we are in development,” the network’s entertainment president Channing Dungey told Deadline last month. “I’m very excited about it.”
Being a female-centric, the new series would fit nicely into ABC’s lineup that has strong appeal to women with such drama series as Shondaland’s Grey’s Anatomy, How To Get Away With Murder and the recently-departed Scandal, as well as hot newcomer The Good Doctor.
ABC previously developed Jessica Jones before the female superhero project migrated to Netflix as part of the big Marvel TV package.
Marvel Television’s live-action series ramp-up following Disney’s 2009 acquisition of Marvel started with ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which launched in fall 2013. The series, an offshoot of The Avengers movie franchise, is heading into its sixth season, which will air next summer on the broadcast network.
Dungey said in May that the network is not planning the upcoming sixth season of S.H.I.E.L.D. as its last, and praised the most recent Season 5 as “creatively the strongest yet.”
In the past five years, ABC launched two other Marvel series which had short runs: Agent Carter, which was well received, and Inhumans.
While he is probably best known for writing the blockbuster DC movie Wonder Woman, Heinberg has a strong TV series and Marvel pedigree.
He worked on Shondaland series at ABC and ABC Studios for more than a decade. Heinberg first joined Grey’s Anatomy in 2006, segueing to Scandal before segueing to become co-creator/showrunner of The Catch, which aired for two seasons. Heinberg’s previous TV writing and producing credits include The Naked Truth, Party of Five, Sex and the City, Gilmore Girls, The O.C. and Looking.
For Marvel Comics, Heinberg created and wrote Young Avengers and its sequel, Avengers: The Children’s Crusade with co-creator/artist Jim Cheung.
Additionally, for DC Comics, he co-wrote JLA: Crisis Of Conscience with Geoff Johns (art by Chris Batista), and re-launched Wonder Woman in 2006 with artists Terry and Rachel Dodson. Heinberg is repped by UTA and attorney Ken Richman.
A number of female Marvel characters have been adapted in recent years for TV — including Jessica Jones, Agent Carter, Medusa on Inhumans — and film (Fox’s X-Men franchise includes Storm, Mystique and Rogue, played by Halle Berry, Jennifer Lawrence and Anna Paquin, respectively).