Marvel Defends Itself

Via DeviantArt.

A few weeks back it was teased that Marvel was shopping a massive TV package around to unconventional television broadcasters, like Netflix and Amazon. What the contents of this package were, was kept secret until today. Netflix and Disney (Marvel's parent company) have announced, in association with ABC Television Productions, that a whole different corner of the MCU is about to be explored. From the press release:
"Led by a series focused on “Daredevil,” followed by “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist” and “Luke Cage,” the epic will unfold over multiple years of original programming, taking Netflix members deep into the gritty world of heroes and villains of Hell’s Kitchen, New York. Netflix has committed to a minimum of four, thirteen episodes series and a culminating Marvel’s “The Defenders” mini-series event that reimagines a dream team of self-sacrificing, heroic characters."
Essentially, Marvel has decided to treat their TV properties in the same way they've treated their film series, which is to say 1) they will be cumulative, and b) likely wildly successful. Introducing new characters individually, then uniting them as worked for them in the past, and is in keeping with their comic origins. Think of the individual series and films as self titled books, and the team-ups being the group titles. It's brilliant.

In the press release, Marvel President describes this deal as "unparallelled in its scope and size, and reinforces our commitment to deliver Marvel’s brand, content and characters across all platforms of storytelling," and he's not wrong. Not only will this cement Netflix's place in the TV landscape, it will also inevitably lead to more opportunities for Marvel to exploit minor characters outside of the cinema. Aside from maybe Daredevil, none of these characters would have had the broader potential appeal to sustain their own film, but a tighter, more character focused series is a place they would work. And not for nothing, but back when Agents of SHIELD was announced, I put together a list of Marvel properties that should also make their way to TV. Just go ahead and compare my list with this announcement. Probably means that this announcement was obvious in it's inevitability.

If this deal, which will begin in 2015, is successful, what does that mean for Agents of SHIELD and the potential Peggy Carter series? Well, conventional over the airwaves TV will still be accessible to more people than a subscription based internet service, which means any series on ABC was potentially more viewers. But, SHIELD has been hemorrhaging viewers weekly, and hasn't exactly blown anyone away in the story department just yet. True, things could change, but they haven't just yet. I think the real message here is, that the old way of doing things is just that: old. Marvel is looking for new and innovative ways to distribute their products, and Netflix is that means. Cable is outpacing broadcast at every turn, and the old network formula of 24 episodes every season isn't the way things should be done anymore. Tighter, shorter runs make for better TV, and Marvel is obviously going in that direction. I think if nothing else, the biggest effect this announcement might have on a potential second season of SHIELD and any future series, are "half season" orders. That way, you might get SHIELD in the fall and Peggy Carter in the spring.

It's also important to note that the Jessica Jones series will be the first Marvel property centred on one of their female characters. A trend that needs to continue.

Via Collider.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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