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Marvel Television’s Problem (And How to Fix It)

imageWhile Marvel Studios’ Black Panther literally tears through box office records Marvel Television–the arm of Marvel Entertainment that handles television projects–is doing…okay.

They’ve got four shows on Netflix (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage and the The Defenders), one on Hulu (Runaways), one coming up on Freeform (Cloak and Dagger) and another on ABC (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is rumored to be ending) though it’s worth mentioning that the parent company of both Marvel and ABC is Disney, so that there’s a bit of synergy there shouldn’t surprise anyone.

Though there’s a problem, namely if Marvel Television wants to expand beyond ABC they’re going to have to move beyond the ‘grounded’ superheroes they have become comfortable depicting and start walking on the more fantastical side of the Marvel Universe.

And there have been attempts have been made to do so (Inhumans) though it didn’t fare so well for one important reason, namely Marvel Television isn’t willing to spend the money for what a sprawling epic like Inhumans should have been (which is odd if only because Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is likely one of the best looking–and highest budgeted–comic-based television shows on television).

Though Marvel Television can’t afford another misstep, which is in a way ironic because the only way that history is not going to repeat itself is if they go bold and loosen up the purse strings along the way.

Netflix and the Transformation of How We View Television

Netflix logoI imagine that television executives haven’t been too glad about the ascension of alternative viewing options–they’re still reeling from cable– beyond the channels within their control, but I honestly think that if they’re able to see beyond their own parochial interests they’ll come to realize what a boon it can potentially be for them in the long term.

Reason being, I have discovered more new–to me–television shows via Netflix than I ever have via network television.   And what’s most interesting is that subject-wise they’re certainly more varied than anything that I would normally watch.

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Are We Getting The Real Story As Far As The Fantastic Four Returning To Marvel Studios Goes?

Fantastic FourIn the past few days the rumor that the rights to the Fantastic Four had been returned to Marvel has been denied by both Fox and Marvel Studios.

Though the denials are interesting not only for what they say, but for what they don’t.

Marvel has granted Fox the rights to expand the Fox/X-Men universe into television, which they didn’t have prior.

Before I go any further, I think it’s worth acknowledging that Marvel Studios isn’t a charity and they aren’t going to give Fox anything for free though Marvel has given Fox the rights to make not only one television series, but two.

That’s also interesting because both of those shows, whenever they appear, will be competing against series on ABC, which like Marvel Studios is owned by Disney.

Charity is one thing, stupidity is another so I think we can disregard that Marvel gave them the rights to make two series for nothing in return.

Assuming that to be nonsense, what does Fox have–excluding the X-Men, which Marvel would love to have back but considering how much money they’re making for Fox  the likelihood that that will happen anytime soon is extremely unlikely–that Marvel Studios wants?

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The Avengers: Age Of Ultron – Teaser Trailer 3

The actual trailer supposedly won’t be out till the premiere of ABC’s–like Marvel Studios, also owned by Disney– American Crime tomorrow, but there are those out there that laugh at such measures.

Hail Hydra!

By the way, I hate to sound contrarian, but I hope this upcoming trailer reveals ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!  I can almost guarantee–despite the darker tone–that Age Of Ultron will not only earn a billion in its first week of release, but will go on to surpass the $1.5 billion earned by the original film AND pass Avatar (at almost $3 billion–$2.88 billion) in the process.

Which is why they don’t need to reveal anymore in terms of storyline.  At this point there are probably people looking for reasons NOT to see this movie.

Marvel Studios, don’t give them any.

TV Shows Cancelled Before Their Time?

I recently caught the entire run of “666 Park Avenue” on Netflix recently.  It was a clearly expensive, good-looking and well-designed series, though its portrayal of evil, personified by Terry O’ Quinn, was somewhat bland (due less to O’ Quinn, who can play sinister with the best of them, than the writing, which leaned toward soapiness) as the owner of a hotel who could be Satan (or someone relatively high in that unholy hierarchy).

I mention it because I read recently that “Ironside” was cancelled on NBC after airing only three episodes.  I am getting the feeling that Blair Underwood needs to steer clear of NBC, considering that his last show for the network “The Event,” had a similar fate (though like ‘Park Avenue,’ it at least lasted a season).

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Marvel’s ‘Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D’ – “Pilot” Review

Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D

“Marvel’s “Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D” is an interesting way to immerse viewers in Marvel and, by extension, its Cinematic Universe.” 

I am watching Marvel’s “Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D,” airing on ABC in the United States, and I like the way that things seem to be proceeding.  Marvel, unlike their Distinguished Competition, are embracing the variety – and the geekiness – of their universe, as opposed to a “realism” that’s the antithesis of what comics are about in the first place.

‘Agents,’ created by brothers Joss (Yes, that ‘Joss Whedon’),  Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen, takes place when S.H.I.E.L.D (Strategic Homeland Intervention Enforcement and Logistic Division) is mopping up after events that took place in “The Avengers,” and acting as a bulwark between humanity and a universe much larger than most people are comfortable knowing about.

Now, seeing that “The Avengers” cost over $200 million to produce, it’s unlikely that a weekly series will even come in at a fourth of that.  That being said, “Marvel’s Agents Of Shield” doesn’t, by any stretch, look cheap.  A plus is that its ratings are – so far – quite good (12.1 million viewers for the premiere – for any show – are awesome numbers).

That being said, those numbers should be expected to drop in future because such a high-profile series is expected to attract a lot of attention initially.

The question is, can it maintain the audience (and the quality) week after week.

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‘Marvel’s Agents Of Shield’ Teaser Trailer

I don’t normally post trailers for TV shows, but when those shows involve Marvel properties – or truth be told, anything that interests me – post them I shall!  Seeing that this is a teaser trailer you can’t necessarily say that how it reflects on the upcoming series, though it looks pretty good.

Though I do see that their vehicles have the S.H.I.E.L.D logo in plain sight…

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