ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee dropped a little bit of a bombshell while speaking at the winter 2016 Television Critics Association press tour. It was previously announced that ABC, home of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ and ‘Agent Carter’, was developing a third Marvel series– a sitcom– ‘Damage Control’ based on a fairly obscure comedic Marvel Comic series about the insurance company tasked with cleaning up after superhero battles. The show is a single-camera comedy, similar to ‘The Office’ and it sounds like that one is a lock, as Lee stated:
“That’s the one that’s going to be coming out this season. I haven’t read it yet. I can’t wait to see it. We hope it’s going to be great.”
Lee then announced that a second Marvel-based comedy series is in the works. It isn’t for certain that the show will be on ABC. Marvel Entertainment also produces the shows on Netflix, after all.
Lee didn’t elaborate on what this show was, but he said:
“In the long term, we’d love it to be [on ABC]. We definitely want to do Marvel comedies as well as dramas and of course, as you know, we supply lots of dramas to Netflix… Our job is to make great television. We pick up the best scripts we can, we put in the best casts. Our job is to make great TV.”
Critics bash “superhero movies” (and shows) like they’re all one thing, but readers of actual comic books know that superhero comics run the gamut from gritty, street-level noir, to galactic cosmic odysseys and everything in between. With the Netflix shows, the genre has introduced the darker element. Are casual TV viewers interested in more comedic super shows?
And while there have been certainly been lighter superheroes from Marvel– very much including Spider-Man– the logistics of utilizing many of them on a new series may be too complicated. Patsy Walker/Hellcat just launched a new ‘Sex And The City’ meets ‘The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’ comic book, but her namesake, Trish Walker, is locked in as a supporting character on the very un-funny ‘Jessica Jones’ on Netflix. And while Kamala Khan/Ms. Marvel is begging to be adapted, it doesn’t make sense for her to appear before Captain Marvel in the movies.
That leaves one great candidate:
The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl! This plucky, upbeat hero is… well, unbeatable, even though her only real super power is to communicate with squirrels. But as wacky as that sounds, this book is attracting an audience that normally turns their noses up at mainstream superhero fare.
What do you think of a second Marvel sitcom? Should it be on ABC or another network? What heroes/series would make for good adaptations?