Marvel's Agents of SHIELD will have its mid-season premiere Tuesday at 9:00 PM ET and ABC has decided to go ahead and renew it for Season 4. Their still mum on Agent Carter's future.
In one of her first programming moves since becoming president of ABC Entertainment, Channing Dungey has given early renewals to the bulk of the network”s established series. The list includes 15 series, including one freshman, breakout drama Quantico. It is joined by Shondaland dramas Grey”s Anatomy, Scandal and How To Get Away with Murder; dramas Once Upon a Time and Marvel”s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; comedies Fresh off the Boat and the entire Wednesday lineup of The Goldbergs, Modern Family, Black-ish and The Middle and reality stalwarts Dancing with the Stars, The Bachelor, Shark Tank and America”s Funniest Home Videos.
I'm certainly not surprised to see SHIELD renewed but I'm more concerned for Agent Carter. I don't speak for everyone of course but SHIELD tends to work for me in bits and pieces, not as a whole. I love Clark Gregg and Coulson but like him much better when he's playing off the big guns in the Marvel films. I adore Ming-Na Wen's Melinda May but feel she's underutilized and undervalued. Same goes for Henry Simmons' Mack. FitzSimmons is a standout but their character arcs haven't felt true to me. Bobbi and Lance are fun but hey, they're probably leaving the show for their own spinoff if all goes well.
The show as a whole doesn't excite me anywhere near as something like The Flash did from a comic book fan perspective. Though admittedly I am a DC, not a Marvel. Most weeks I watch and have no strong feelings either way afterward. The strength of the show, I think, comes from its use of superpowers which has escalated as we've gone on in the seasons and is really what excites fans. When they connected to Captain America: Winter Soldier, I was on the edge of my seat. When they tried to do the same with Avengers: Age of Ultron, I was bored to tears. But the show has a strong fandom and strong ratings. Unfortunately, Agent Carter only has the former.
Agent Carter is unlike anything on TV right now, features phenomenal acting and production, and I think better marketing could go a long way to help in the ratings department. So could airing the show with Agents of SHIELD instead of relegating it to a “bridge show.” Deadline pointed out The Goldbergs had a rough start with ratings when they were inappropriately paired with SHIELD. When they moved it to their comedy block, it improved greatly. Why ABC wouldn't try a “comic book block” is beyond me.