This week, it was reported that Disney is developing TV shows spun off from Marvel Cinematic Universe characters like Loki and the Scarlet Witch for its upcoming, direct-to-consumer streaming service. This was seen by some as a death knell for ABC’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D., which was renewed for a sixth, 13-episode season back in May. But news of a new title in development indicates that the biggest threat to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s survival might be another ABC property.
The Disney-owned network has made a significant commitment to the production of a female superhero drama from Allan Heinberg, the screenwriter for 2017's Wonder Woman and the showrunner for the Shondaland series The Catch. Details are apparently top secret—shocking, for a Marvel property—but The Hollywood Reporter notes that “it is expected to focus on lesser-known characters in the comic book giant’s library.” That makes it sound a bit like Marvel TV’s answer to D.C’s Legends Of Tomorrow.
There’s no reason that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and this to-be-named show can’t exist happily side by side, but S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn’t exactly been a ratings juggernaut of late. Its (very welcome) renewal this year wasn’t a surprise, exactly, but it was far from a sure thing. Additionally, previous season orders have clocked in at 22 episodes, while the 13 ordered for the sixth season may not bode well. And while the dearly departed Agent Carter made it through a whole two seasons before being cancelled, last season’s Inhumans didn’t make it that far. Also, it was terrible.
Heinberg, who has written for Scandal, Looking, Grey’s Anatomy, The O.C., Gilmore Girls, Sex And The City, and other properties, will executive produce along with Jeph Loeb, the head of Marvel television. Heinberg will also, as you might expect, write the script; as THR notes, this brings him back into the Marvel fold, where he created and wrote the comics Young Avengers and Avengers: The Children’s Crusade.
Should the project be picked up to series, it will join S.H.I.E.L.D., the slate of Marvel Netflix shows, Fox’s The Gifted, FX’s Legion, and Hulu’s Runaways as the TV properties in the extended MCU.
Fingers crossed for Kamala Khan.