Our ongoing look back at sci fi / fantasy TV shows that were cancelled way too soon or pilots that never made it to series.
This series followed the adventures of Agent Peggy Carter–first introduced in the Captain America movie–working for the SSR (Strategic Science Reserve) in the years following the end of World War II. It surely seemed poised for success before it debuted because it was a spin-off from the popular Avengers movie franchise and it would air while Agents of SHIELD was on hiatus, tapping into that audience and also acting as a prequel to that show. Plus it had a stellar cast with Haley Atwell in the lead role and James D’Arcy as her sidekick along with quite a few more strong players in supporting roles. The first season of the show was a ton of fun with its throwback spy fi approach and it received high marks from fans and critics alike. But for some reason, not many people tuned in to watch it. Agents of SHIELD was already in a ratings slump that year and Agent Carter bowed to even lower numbers when it debuted at mid-season. But both shows had Disney on their side as apparently the Mouse House wanted to keep the Avengers tie-ins alive and well on the network that they owned, and they received renewals for the 2015-16 season. But when Agent Carter returned in January 2016, the ratings were even lower as the show could not manage higher than a 0.9 score based on the overnights during its second season (and yes, the network do continue to look closely at those overnights). It was still well received by fans and critics, but just not enough people were tuning in. I personally thought it was a great show and would call it the second best comics based show on television of late next to Daredevil. But with its ratings dropping from its already tepid first season numbers, Disney and ABC decided it was time to call it quits for the show. They did at least give the show a chance with its second season, but it could never find the audience it deserved. A fan campaign is currently active trying to lobby Netflix to pick up the show for a third season and their petition has over 120k signatures (with a goal of 150k). A third season would make economical sense if they tied the show in more closely with Agents of SHIELD because then the two could be packaged together in syndication. And Haley Atwell has said that she would be willing to do “whatever it takes” to make a third season happen. I have also heard that Peggy Carter could cross-over to AoS in its fourth season, and that may be how they tie the two more closely to together. But a full third season of Agent Carter would be the preferred way to go. The show’s producers had previously said that they didn’t think a Netflix deal would work, but perhaps something could still be hammered out. Or maybe a direct-to-DVD movie sort of like the one the preceded the series? It sure seems like the desire is there, so it is up to Disney at this point to say yes to more adventures from Agent Carter.
Aired: ABC, 2015-16, 2 Season Totaling 18 Episodes
Developed By: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely
Starring: Hayley Atwell,,James D’Arcy, Chad Michael Murray, Enver Gjokaj