ABC kicked off the current Marvel Television’ live-action series ramp-up with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is heading into its sixth season, to air next summer. With Agent Carter and Inhumans gone, there will be no Marvel series on ABC during the 2018-19 broadcast season schedule for the first time since the launch of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. While ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey made it clear in May that she does not necessarily envision the upcoming sixth season of S.H.I.E.L.D. as its last, she would like to launch another Marvel series on the broadcast network.
“In terms of Marvel, we have some things that we are in discussions with them right now that we are in development,” Dungey said. In typical Marvel fashion, she would not reveal any details beyond the fact that “I’m very excited about it.”
As for Star Wars, Lucasfilms’ TV series efforts are currently focused on the Disney’s direct-to-consumer platform and there is no ABC play, with Marvel also developing projects for the service.
Dungey also spoke about ABC without Shonda Rhimes in the company fold. Rhimes’ Shondaland left ABC Studios last August for a big overall deal at Netflix and recently unveiled her first slate there of eight series.
“We still have 4 Shondaland shows on the air, so I don’t feel the absence of Shonda at this point,” Dungey said. “I’m excited for her, we talked after her new slate at Netflix was announced. I’m excited, I think she is going to get to explore some ideas and themes that might have been trickier for her to tackle on ABC so it’s all good. The relationship, and the shows we are doing are still as strong as ever.”
As for another top producer who recently left ABC Studios, black-ish creator Kenya Barris, also believed to be going to Netflix, “It’s unclear” whether the ABC pilot he had pushed this past season would go forward, Dungey said.
That project, that started as a straight-to-series order and then became a pilot that eventually was put on hold, was one of the factors that allegedly played a role in Barris’ decision to exit his four-year studio deal just over an year into it.
At the upfronts in May, Dungey spoke in detail about an another incident that was considered the tipping point, the episode of black-ish that was pulled shortly before it was to air. It is said to have touched on a number of hot-button issues, including the debate over athletes who kneel during the national anthem at football games.
“With this particular episode, there were a number of different elements to the episode that we had a hard time coming to terms on,” she said back then. “Much has been made about the kneeling part of it, which was not even really the issue, but I don’t want to get into that. At the end of the day, this was a mutual decision between Kenya and the network to not put the episode out.”
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