Friction Between ABC & Marvel Over Inhumans and Agents of SHIELD

Marvel TV Friction ABC

Marvel TV and Jeph Loeb’s lackluster attempts are finally catching up with them.

In a report from Variety about impending lay-offs at ABC and pressures to demonstrate growth this season, it’s noted there is friction between ABC and Marvel TV (note: Marvel TV is separate from Marvel Studios at Disney as the two are completely different companies and are not involved). 

It’s reported that ABC isn’t enthusiastic about Marvel TV’s Inhumans, offering that the negative reviews are also a reflection of ABC’s own thoughts on the series. It’s said ABC executives “expressed concerns early on to Marvel Television, which produces the series.” According to the report, “subsequent work by Marvel to fine-tune the visuals did little to allay concerns at the network, where executives felt that the scripts were as problematic as the effects that had been mocked by the Marvel fan community on Twitter after a trailer was released.”

It is noted ABC and Disney didn’t really have to gamble when it came to Marvel TV’s Inhumans as IMAX footed most of the bill, but its release on IMAX backfired as it “generated more tepid buzz for the series.”

The report even goes on to mention that Inhumans hasn’t been the only source of friction between ABC and Marvel TV as earlier in the year a mandate came down from Disney for ABC to renew Agents of SHIELD “despite the desire by some at the network to end the series after four seasons.”

If I had to guess, the mandate probably came down from Marvel CEO/Chairman Ike Perlmutter who runs Marvel TV and is one of the highest shareholders of Disney stock.

Marvel TV has also been behind the dismal Iron Fist Netflix series, which features the same showrunner as Inhumans, Scott Buck. It begs the question of why would Marvel TV place Buck on Inhumans following Iron Fist? Marvel TV’s Defenders Netflix series has also been received with lukewarm reception.  

Up next for Marvel TV is the Inhumans series debuting this Friday, which has actually been promoted by ABC as the complete series, leading to speculation it’s a one-and-done.

Following Inhumans, Marvel TV’s Punisher will debut on Netflix. It will be interesting to see how that goes and the reaction it brings.

Once Inhumans airs, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD will return for Season 5 on ABC.