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Marvel and ABC Mulling TV Drama Set in The Avengers Universe

Given the blockbuster success of The Avengers — it’s grossed $1.46 billion worldwide — it should come as no surprise that corporate siblings Marvel and ABC want to bottle some of the magic for the small screen. Well, apparently.

While details are incredibly sparse, Deadline contends Marvel’s television division is talking with ABC and ABC Studios about creating a television drama set in the Avengers universe. At this point it’s only “a kernel of an idea,” one that would feature the theme and feel of the Joss Whedon film but none of the characters. Among the approaches reportedly being considered is “a high-concept cop show,” which certainly could be S.H.I.E.L.D.

Unfortunately, that’s all of the information the website has. However, it’s easy to see how a S.H.I.E.L.D. drama would work, blending the ever-popular elements of a police procedural with high-tech espionage and, of course, superhero action. Plus, Marvel already has Helicarrier sets, CG models, costumes, etc., which would lower production costs for a weekly serial. And even without the participation of Samuel L. Jackson or Scarlett Johansson, it’s easy enough to tie a television series into The Avengers with references to the events of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and glimpses of movie footage on computer monitors.

ABC and Marvel had been developing AKA Jessica Jones, based on the Alias series by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos, but passed on the pilot in May. However, the much-discussed live-action revival of The Incredible Hulk is still in the works, with Guillermo del Toro saying earlier this month that the pilot is awaiting a rewrite.


  • Matt

    didn’t smallville start out in the Superman movie universe as a prequel then somewhere along the way it dropped that idea?

  • Gdogg855

    The Hoff (David Haselhoff) played Nick Fury in a TV movie back when about him and SHIELD.  Can’t recall who played Madam Hydra.

  • Lewis4510

    I just don’t see a Hulk series happening.

  • Drew_Melbourne

    @Matt  No, it definitely took a lot of cues from the Donner movies, but even in the first episode, it clearly departed from movie continuity.

  • WonderScott

    SHIELD could be interesting and not conflict with The Avengers movie franchise too terribly.  And wasn’t there supposed to be a Mockingbird pilot, as well as the Jessica Jones one at one point, being considered? 

    If a SHIELD show, I’d like to see these characters as the leads; Maria Hill, Dum Dum Dugan, Daisy Hill, Bobbi Morse, Clay Quartermain, Sam Wilson, Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine, Sharon Carter and Jessica Drew.  

    Maybe have Jackson guest as Fury for a few episodes from time to time. 
    SHIELD or not, they should center the show in NYC – especially if it’s a copy type show.  Depending on the licenses, but especially storywise, it’s the nexus of Spider-man, Fantastic Four, Avengers, Daily Bugle and X-men, so depending on who they are able to use (especially villains or supporting characters from the those books) it makes the most sense.  

  • E-Will

    A SHIELD based show could work. As could one based on a special NYPD unit (I can’t remember the name but Marvel did have one show up in various books. I’m thinking the show could be a little Gotham Central-ish).

    While I would give both of the above a look, I would like to see them try a Damage Control show. It’s a property they actually own, minor low rent villians could appear, and the possibility for drama and comedy would be there. Plus, hopefully, the estate of the under-appreciated Dwayne MacDuffie would get something.

  • Orphan

    I think it should exist in a crossover universe of Care Bears and My Little Pony.Just sayin’

  • Captain Midnight

    AKA Jessica Jones would have great or Mockingbird

  • Xanderfig24

    I think this is a great idea. I think they should look at something like the Runaways. It occupies the same universe, has super heroes, but is less exaggerated or over the top. It could be fee-sable to work as a tv show. Has teen angst, diversity (something needed in the Marvel Movie Verse right now) and also is far enough away that it won’t have to directly conflict with the films.

    If they decide against that, I’d love maybe a Luke Cage/Iron Fist Heroes For Hire type tv series. Have Jessica Jones

  • Wayfarer073

    That group was Code Blue, they showed up a lot in Thor during the DeFalco’s tenure as writer.  Actually, I have to agree that a SHIELD series could work, probably focusing on a special unit to explain why Fury isn’t a lead character.  Some others mention Mockingbird, I thought they were working on a series for ABC Family? Heroes for Hire would also be an interesting choice.  But, its just a kernel of an idea, lets see if anything comes out of it.

  • Rollo Tomassi

    Since they got the TV rights to Spider-Man back from Sony, they should do a “Wackerverse/I ‘Marvel’ NY” series starring Spider-Man’s HUGE supporting cast of characters, and Punisher, Luke Cage, Doc Strange etc. Set in New York City and focusing on the Street level stuff. Maybe they could even get the Daredevil TV rights back from Fox (unlikely, but worth a shot)

    If the Marvel movies were bricks, this series would be the mortar.

  • Brian from Canada

    It’s a solid kernel — IF a show like this were to be made, it would have to be SHIELD. Paired with The Incredible Hulk after Hulk reveals another force in the mix (i.e., AIM, Hydra, etc.) SHIELD puts together a small team to deal with it. Have the team run by the supposedly dead Clouson or Daisy Dugan and you’ve got the rough outline.

    However, I don’t have my hopes up: the Powers show seems stuck on development, and sadly no interest has been piqued beyond fans after Thomas Jane’s “Dirty Laundry.” [Which, for those who haven’t seen it, show an avenue to a character Marvel completely missed out on.]

  • Chris Buchheit

    I wonder what the chances are of a Hugh Jackman or Andrew Garfield cameo if they set the show in NYC.  Do their licensing agreements with Fox and Sony include TV rights?   I assume not since they use the characters in all sorts of animated features. 
    While they’ll probably end up going with a cop show, I think SHIELD holds all sorts of potential.  You could bring in Hawkeye and Black Widow for a storyline or two.  All the other Avengers could easily cameo (not that it couldn’t happen in another setting, but it might be easier if the show is set within SHIELD).  And I’d love to see Clark Gregg come back as Agent Coulson.  Evil twin, clone, alternate universe, Fury lied about his death; it doesn’t really matter, I just want more Coulson.