In 2021, when the Marvel Cinematic Universe ventured into streaming via Disney Plus, television pundits stood aghast as Marvel rejected traditional television protocols and dared to run their TV shows like they did their films. Marvel bucked the standard trends and refused to use showrunners or commission pilot episodes of any given streaming shows.
Recent shows like She-Hulk and Secret Invasion were met with lukewarm reception and dwindling streaming numbers. These and other shows made it seem that the mighty Marvel and Disney were beginning to lose their creative and financial edge. While some television industry voices may have been upset by Marvel’s maverick approach to television, in hindsight, it makes sense that a juggernaut like Marvel could break new ground and go where no one else had been before within television the same way they did with cinema.
However, as of late, this novel approach to television will be short-lived.The Hollywood Reporter and Indiewire reported that Marvel has decided to start using showrunners. Marvel’s head of streaming, Brad Winderbaum, confirmed to THR that the studio will embrace the concept. He stated further, “We need executives that are dedicated to this medium, that are going to focus on streaming, focus on television.” According to Indiewire, an insider has revealed that Marvel will also embrace pilots, which showrunners will be tasked with writing.
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The show that broke the camel’s back was Secret Invasion, which was the lowest-rated Marvel series despite a huge budget. There were numerous reports that production problems plagued the show. Recently, the Daredevil reboot was halted due to the writer strike. Still, Marvel mastermind and studio head Kevin Feige had time to review the material during the strike and decided what he saw needed to be better. Thus, the crazy Marvel television and streaming formula found another victim. With Daredevil put on hold for reshoots and dwindling streaming numbers, the writing was on the wall for Marvel’s approach to its television division.
Hopefully, Feige and his team can merge the winning Marvel formula and traditional television formulas to recapitulate and get things back on track, save Marvel’s television and streaming shows’ numbers and give these incredible characters stories worthy of their legacy.
Neilan Adams is a talented journalist, writer, and critic with a passion for all things pop culture. With a diverse range of interests, Neilan has contributed to print and online media on topics ranging from music and film to gaming and comics.
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