Disney-owned ABC may not be ordering any Marvel pilots this season, but that doesn’t mean the network is ready to give up on superhero shows — even after the negative reception for Inhumans. In fact, it’s “undeterred” by that experience.
“The question really is more: What kind of superhero show?” Channing Dungey, President of ABC Entertainment, told Bloomberg. “What’s the tone and how are we doing it? I would never say we’re through with superheroes.”
She acknowledged earlier this month that the eight-episode Inhumans “didn’t perform for us at the level that we would have wanted,” which can be generously described as an understatement. The Marvel series was considered a disappointment for both ABC and IMAX, which partnered on the production and offered the two-hour premiere in limited theatrical release. IMAX CEO Rich Gelfond has conceded those screenings were a mistake, explaining, ““Customers expected a production akin to a mega-budget blockbuster movie, rather than pilots for a television show. Moreover, the fact that this was Marvel IP set the bar at a level you wouldn’t see from other pieces of content or IP because of the reputation and the high production value of Marvel movies.”
ABC hasn’t made any announcements about the future of Inhumans, but the odds of a second season certainly don’t look promising. “We haven’t made any official decisions yet,” Dungey said, “but I will say the numbers were less exciting for us as we hoped they would be.”
Although ABC won’t be premiering a new Marvel series in the fall, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues in its fifth season, widely considered a high point for the show. And Freeform, owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group, will debut Marvel’s Cloak & Dagger in June.
Airing Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 stars Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Henry Simmons, Ian De Caestecker, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Elizabeth Henstridge, Nick Blood, Jeff Ward, Eve Harlow, Pruitt Taylor Vince and Coy Stewart.
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