Cancelled Before It Began: Marvel’s Most Wanted (2016)

By | June 2, 2016

Our ongoing look back at sci fi / fantasy TV shows that were cancelled way too soon or pilots that never made it to series.

marvels-most-wanted-failed-pilotThere were several sci fi pilots that the networks passed over this last May (more on that in an upcoming post), but Marvel’s Most Wanted was one of the most interesting because it had received a lot of attention and has been in development for a while.  This would have been a spin-off from Agents of SHIELD and would have followed the characters Bobbi Morse (aka Mockingbird) and Lance Hunter who had recurred on that series.  Following is the logline that gives for the pilot: “Two ex-spies and ex-spouses who are on the run with no friends, no S.H.I.E.L.D. and a long list of enemies looking to claim a bounty on their heads. Able to trust no one but each other, Bobbi and Hunter form an uneasy alliance with Dominic Fortune, a rogue adventurer with a wealth of resources and even more adversaries, who agrees to protect them so long as they help him with his own agenda. These two heroes will help anyone in need, all while trying to uncover the conspiracy that put their own lives in jeopardy.”  I caught very little of Agents of SHIELD in its third season, but apparently Morse and Hunter had bowed out of that one earlier in the year in preparation for the potential spin-off series.  Development on this actually began last year with a short, proof-of-concept reel and the thinking was that the show might might make it to the mid-season 2015-16 schedule.  ABC passed at that point but kept the project in development and the buzz was that it had a good chance of getting the greenlight for the 2016-17 season.  In fact, at one point it looked like ABC could have four Marvel shows on its schedule with the comedy Damage Control in the works (based on the comic book of the same name about a team who cleans up after superheroes) and rumors that AoS and Agent Carter would both get renewed.  I personally never considered that a likely scenario seeing the tepid ratings that the latter two shows had been pulling.  But Marvel’s Most Wanted looked like a good bet because of the popularity of its central characters and it seemed like a less costly option than Agents of SHIELD to keep the Avengers franchise alive on television.  But instead, ABC decided to cancel Agent Carter and pass on the two pilots (Damage Control apparently did not even make it to the finals round for the pilots).  MMW definitely looked like a promising addition to the Marvel Universe shows that ABC had going, and seemed to have sparked a lot of interest.  And it’s possible they could do another retool and get it into the cycle again, but I wouldn’t count on it.  Agents of SHIELD is likely on the way out after its fourth season due to its low ratings (it only escaped cancellation to get enough episodes for a syndication run) and I’m thinking the network will try a very different approach after that if it wants to get another Marvel show on its schedule because neither AoS or Agent Carter counted as hits for the network. (You can read more about the development of Marvel’s Most Wanted at its Wikipedia entry.)

Aired: Never Aired

Developed By: Jeffrey Bell, Paul Zbyszewski

Starring: Adrianne Palicki, Nick Blood, Delroy Lindo

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