Springtime usually means renewal, but in the TV industry it means expiration. As we hit pilot season, television networks start culling the current crop of shows to remove dead weight and to make room for new programs coming in. The surprise hit of last season, Agent Carter, has become one of the many casualties on ABC’s funeral pyre.
Now while there is an online petition with currently over 80,000 signatures supporting that Netflix pick up the show, there are plenty of objective reasons that it’s ok that Agent Carter shouldn’t merit another season.
Agent Peggy Carter made her first appearance in Captain America: The First Avenger, released in 2011. Introduced as part of the SSR (the precursor agency to S.H.I.E.L.D.), Carter would become an instant success with fans, due to the portrayal by Hayley Atwell, showing her as more than just a ‘love interest’. Agent Carter would then get her own eponymous short film in 2013. Set a year after the events of The First Avenger, it would be established that Carter would become one of the founding members of S.H.I.E.L.D., alongside Howard Stark.
As the character would further grow in popularity, there would be rumblings of a film or perhaps mini series coming. In 2015, the first season of Agent Carter would air during Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D‘s winter break. An 8 episode first season showcased Carter’s rise from an unappreciated office clerk in the SSR to the capable field agent that we, as fans, all knew she was. Originally intended as a limited series, the ratings and reviews were just good enough to merit a late renewal and a 10 episode second season order.
Agent Carter would premiere with a robust 6.91 million viewers in the first two episodes of the first season. The last two episodes would bring in an anemic 2.50 million and 2.35 million, respectively. Now numbers are not sexy, no one wants to hear data because it is boring, but the numbers show that the support, while very vocal, wasn’t made evident in the ratings. The shows’ Marvel pedigree is what kept it on television as the numbers declined this recent season.
While many in the industry feel that the current ratings system is outdated, it is the metric by which shows live or perish, and the metrics do not indicate that the investment ABC was making in Agent Carter was not bearing the desired fruit.
Well Done, Agent
Hayley Atwell has done more with Agent Carter than anyone expected and that is to be celebrated. A one-off character that landed a short film, being weaved into both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and tv shows, and two seasons with a show that was intended to be a glorified mini-series. Agent Peggy Carter defied expectations, helped save the world from HYDRA, is a charter agent of S.H.I.E.L.D., and in her own words, had a good life.
As previously mentioned, there is an online petition to bring the series to Netflix. Netflix is currently producing Luke Cage, Iron Fist, a second season of Jessica Jones, and a recently announced Punisher series forthcoming. While a whole new season wouldn’t make a lot of sense, a movie to wrap things up or even showcasing the formal founding of S.H.I.E.L.D would be a great way to conclude the story of Peggy Carter and honor he contributions to the Marvel Universe.
Agree? Disagree? Think I should be imprisoned in The Raft?
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