Despite its dedicated fanbase and fan-favorite guest stars like Ghost Rider and HYDRA, ABC's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. isn't doing so well in comparison to other Marvel titles. While it still manages to attract a sizable audience, Agent Phil Coulson's (Clark Gregg) adventures with the rest of S.H.I.E.L.D. aren't bringing in the numbers that producers want. Because of this, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was almost canned, but Disney ultimately stepped in and renewed the show for yet another season.
ABC Has Some Marvelous Problems
For reasons that have yet to be publicized, it seems that Marvel refuses to let go of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., despite its ratings and a continuously ambiguous connection with the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe (#MCU). As reported by Variety, ABC was fully prepared to end Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. after four seasons, but Marvel demanded the show's renewal.
This, however, is just one of two major sources of friction between ABC and Marvel. Recently, Marvel's #Inhumans failed to enthuse audiences on an unprecedented level, with many critics saying that the series pilot set a low point for the otherwise stable MCU. The pilot was so poorly received that Maureen Ryan of Variety thinks the critically maligned #IronFist looks like a masterpiece in comparison.
‘Iron Fist’ looks like ‘Citizen Kane’ next to this slapped-together, incoherent, cheap-looking mess.
While ABC didn't suffer a heavy financial loss thanks to IMAX, who paid for most of the show's budget, Inhumans still failed to turn into another MCU-styled sleeper hit. Essentially, the poor performance of Inhumans and the lukewarm ratings of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. have contributed to ABC's challenging season, but the latter is still deemed a worthwhile investment by Disney – who will be considering the bigger picture and the overall performance of the Marvel brand.
What do you think of Marvel's move to save Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Share your thoughts in the comments below.