As Marvel’s Agent Carter wrapped its brisk, eight-episode first season in fine form last night, I spoke with Marvel’s head of television, Jeph Loeb, for this Daily Beast story about what’s on tap for the company next (five upcoming Netflix series, starting with Marvel’s Daredevil) and why Agent Carter was able to immediately connect with audiences in a way that Agents of SHIELD did not last season.
From its outset, Agent Carter received a much more enthusiastic response from audiences than S.H.I.E.L.D., which Loeb attributes to confusion over what exactly S.H.I.E.L.D. was when it premiered in fall 2013. “There were certain expectations about S.H.I.E.L.D. that people had,” he says. “Despite the fact that we had a very strong message out there which is ‘not all heroes are super,’ I still think people came to the show thinking that the Hulk was going to be in the first episode and Iron Man was going to be in the second episode and Cap was going to be in the third episode. But once they got into the show and realized, ‘Oh, look at all these characters and look at this world and look at what we’re getting out of it,’ then they were ready to get into the show and take it where it was. With Carter, there was no misinformation. It was: Here she is, this is the world that we’re in.”
And even with seven Marvel series on-air and in the pipelione, Loeb doesn’t think the market is oversaturated yet:
“There’ll always be room to expand. This isn’t about which shows we’re doing. It really is about, ‘What’s the best story?’ We’ve never chosen any of our shows based on a particular need as much as the stories that we want to tell and how they can work both to help build out the brand, and at the same time help build out the storytelling that we’re doing,” he says. “Part of the reason why the Netflix shows happened was because we’ve wanted to be able to tell the stories of the street-level heroes, and that was a better fit for that network than what we were doing over at ABC. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t other shows at either network that wouldn’t be fun and exciting to do.”
Check out the rest of the interview, in which Loeb reveals which Marvel actor is already begging for a Daredevil cameo, how Marvel keeps track of all the characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and which films/shows they’ve appeared on and why the company’s TV moves aren’t a response to whatever rival DC is doing.