Thursday, November 23, 2017

Marvel TV News

[Mild SPOILERS below for The Punisher]

Showrunner Steve Lightfoot said the exclusion of the other Defenders in The Punisher was a demand from on-high:
I think it's something that you need to talk to someone in Marvel about that because when I came in to take the show on, it was always very clear to me that they wanted it to sort of tell its own story and run on its own track and not really intersect with what was happening in The Defenders. That was part of the brief.
It's an interesting decision by the executives and I'll be interested to find out why. I don't think the decision is bad per se, just curious.

My review for the show is forthcoming, but I will say predictions for a tie-in with a new hero (like Moon Knight) crashed and burned in what was a fantastic show. We also saw yet more reviews impacted by the Nanny State. I'm old enough to remember the fatuous concerns being mouthed by the right in the 80s and 90s about things like Dungeons & Dragons (it was going to lead to Satanism and violence) and violent video games (also leading to violence)--all things easily debunked, but that circulated in the news for decades. It's disconcerting to see the same nonsense coming from people on the left. Fortunately, none of this seems to have impacted viewers who have overwhelming approved of the show (and, over time, we'll see critical opinion adjust accordingly).

With the announcement of the forthcoming Disney streaming service it's been suggested
that there will be no new Netflix shows, albeit Disney is not pulling them. Given that Disney's service is meant to be family friendly and that all the properties on Netflix are not, does this mean more mature shows will go to Hulu or will Disney simply make nothing adult-oriented? I find the latter hard to believe.

A more interesting possibility, and not one I've seen mentioned, is that Marvel shows will be taken off ABC--that superhero content will be reserved for streaming channels. While the Netflix shows have all been successful, ABC's content has failed to varying degrees (Agent Carter was cancelled after two seasons, Agents of SHIELD is currently on-air only due to a corporate mandate, and Inhumans is touch-and-go for cancellation). For whatever reason the network approach simply hasn't worked for Marvel, so I wouldn't be surprised if this is the last season ABC has that content.

Luke Cage has wrapped filming, slightly before expectations (December) and well before the initially reported end point (March). The five-month period is in line with both Daredevil and Jessica Jones, but two months shorter than the first season of Luke Cage. At this stage it seems like Netflix has settled into a production pattern for their Marvel properties and we can assume five months is generally how long filming will take.

Production for Iron Fist season two will begin December 6th (confirming an old Screen Rant rumour), while Daredevil season three began November 13th (it wouldn't be a surprise if we see more Heroes for Hire in Iron Fist, incidentally).  These start times are close to previous predictions (Daredevil starting a month later and Iron Fist a month earlier), but both schedules would still allow for all four shows to air in 2018 (my prevailing theory, which has Jessica Jones in January, Luke Cage in April, Daredevil in July, and Iron Fist in October).

Speaking of Daredevil. the show has another casting call out which includes a series regular and some possible recurring characters (all of whom are FBI agents, something that matches the casting call from over a month ago). It's hard not to see parallels to The Punisher, albeit the presence of FBI agents doesn't mean there will be any connection between the two (the description seems similar to the Dinah Madani character). The Hashtag Show, which is the source of the information, has no suggestions for comic book parallels to the listing and it seems likely they are created for the show. The same article wonders if the FBI connection might lead into an Angela del Toro (aka White Tiger) appearance, but that seems like a stretch with the given information. What's interesting to me is that the show made a significant change in its casting call for this particular regular--the initial call was for a male, mid to late 30s, of Indian descent who could speak Hindi. The revised call aged up the character slightly and removed the Hindi element (looking for someone of Middle Eastern, South Asian, Pakistani, or Israeli heritage).

Filming for Cloak & Dagger has wrapped; the pilot was shot Feb.8-24, with production for the remaining episodes recommencing July 24th. This nearly four month period is on par with The Runaways and, given the shorter episode count, seems like it fits within the framework of how Netflix shoots its Marvel shows.

The New Warriors show is being moved from Freeform because the Disney-owned channel couldn't find space for it in its 2018 schedule (!). Why Freeform couldn't fit it is unknown, but the show is now being shopped because Disney wants it to air next year. Amidst this story is this rumour which is making the rounds:
Sources suggest Disney-owned Marvel is no longer able to sell to outside companies
If that's the case then New Warriors must go to either ABC or Hulu, since Disney's streaming service won't be up earlier than 2019. I'd be leery in accepting this rumour, since none of Disney's owned channels are suitable to the material being shown on Netflix.

I'm behind on my Inhumans reviews, but with the mini-series now over there's a bit of critical retconning--at least from Justin Carter at CBR.

Inhumans' episode seven slipped back towards the low end (1.96) with the finale doing no better (1.95), but both remained steady with the key demographic (0.5). There's no question that Fox's superhero effort, The Gifted, found a more stable audience, albeit that show is seeing a distinct drop (the sixth dropped to 3.17/1.0 and then to 3.0/1.0, it's lowest total yet, albeit steady in the key demographic).

Here's the overall tracking for both shows (keeping in mind Friday shows are 30% lower):
Overall 3.75 - 2.78 - 2.3 - 1.98 - 2.05 - 1.96 - 1.95
(Adding the 30%) 4.87 - 3.61 - 2.99 - 2.57 - 2.66 - 2.54 - 2.53
Key Demographic 0.9 - 0.7 - 0.6 - 0.4 - 0.5 - 0.5 - 0.5
The Gifted
Overall 4.9 - 3.79 - 3.46 - 3.36 - 3.43 - 3.17 - 3.0
Key Demographic 1.5 - 1.2 - 1.1 - 1.0 - 1.1 - 1.0 - 1.0

The two shows started on similar footing and despite being fairly close in raw popularity The Gifted has much better numbers with the 18-49 group (almost double, as even with another 30% Inhumans only hits 0.65). Both shows pale in comparison to quality shows like The Punisher and I wonder what will happen to them going forward.

This article is written by Peter Levi (@eyeonthesens)

1 comment:

  1. Are they entertaining regardless of the changes that Netflix is making. They are just trying to make money for sure. Louise is enjoying Netflix Show about the Queen on the free month. I may look at one of these for fun.