For Marvel Studios, 2017 has been a busy year for their television ventures. Characters from multiple comics will be arriving on multiple networks in short order. The Punisher will get his own series on Netflix after debuting in Daredevil Season 2, Inhumans just premiered in IMAX and will be making its network premiere on ABC, Runaways is taking over Hulu, and Cloak & Dagger on Freeform.
Jeph Loeb, the main guy for all things Marvel on the small screen, took some time to discuss the upcoming plans for Marvel TV. He confirmed Marvel definitely has plans for new shows on ABC and that ABC is their mothership. He spoke with CBR:
Absolutely [In reguards to more Marvel shows coming to ABC]. Absolutely. Obviously, these aren’t things I can talk about. But look, as it is with every single one of the networks that we have gotten with that this is with, and whether it’s Fox or it’s FX or it’s Freeform, or it’s Hulu, or it’s Netflix, ABC is always going to be our mothership…It is a Disney-owned network. We are a Disney-owned corporation and we’re a good fit for each other.
Loeb went on to talk about Marvel’s relationship with ABC and why they work well together. He also talked about what ABC looks for in their Marvel shows.
We speak a lot of the same language and the kinds of things that are important to them, which is people rising up again[st] adversity; real emotion; a strong female character, but also a strong sense of family and questions of identity. All of those things are key to being a successful ABC show, but they’re also key to being a Marvel show. So in that way we’re going to go and see what happens along the way.
This is pretty huge. It means ABC will be Marvel Studios main hub for television content. However, Loeb was clear that certain shows will need homes outside of ABC. He specifically mentioned the darker more mature nature of the Netflix shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones.
I think people confuse the fact that we go to other networks as a sign that we’re not on ABC. The truth of the matter is that those shows weren’t appropriate for us to be on ABC. How do we know that? We talk to ABC and we talk about what is it that you’re looking for?
Working with FCC controls and censors can be an issue, especially with some of the adult themes we have seen on the Marvel/Netflix shows such as Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. Being able to put shows on Netflix allows Marvel to tap into a more mature, not as family friendly audience, than what they might see on ABC. This puts me and I’m sure many of you at ease as well after Disney announced they were severing a majority of their relationship with Netflix to launch their own streaming service.
So how will Marvel move forward? Will they just strike out on their own and wind down their outsourced shows? That’s doubtful. Jeph recognizes each service and each network they’re partnering with has a unique niche. Netflix allows for a darker themed atmosphere. Something network TV rarely goes into. Hulu is in the same boat, so seeing Marvel expand their partnership behind Netflix to another streaming service is similar to why they work with other networks to air their content.
Think of it like this. It’s a fantastic way to diversify your portfolio. Not only are costs being shared, but so is the risk, and Marvel recognizes that not all products are made equal, and a bust is eventually going to happen.
You also have the successful partnership with Sony over the summer which brought Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That success might allow Marvel to want to reach out to other owners of Marvel Characters in the future to work on other projects. We have already seen Marvel Studios partners with Fox for their upcoming X-Men spinoff show, Gifted.
To me, Jeph is just signaling that as new content comes from Marvel Studios just to expect the majority of it to go through ABC.
What do you think? Is ABC a good home for a greater share of Marvel Studios television projects? Or is the environment provided by streaming services a better way to go? Tell us why in the comments below!