How 'Jessica Jones' made it to Netflix after ABC nixed the show

Krysten ritter melissa rosenbergNoam Galai/AOLExecutive producer Melissa Rosenberg and actress Krysten Ritter at AOL’s Build Series with moderator Ricky Camilleri Monday afternoon.

Netflix’s next Marvel show “Jessica Jones” debuts Friday on the streaming network, but there was a time when it nearly had a different home.

Executive producer Melissa Rosenberg actually began developing the series over at ABC years ago when “Breaking Bad” was still on the air, she said during a taping for AOL’s Build Series Monday afternoon.

Moderator Ricky Camilleri was taken aback and commented that “Jessica Jones” must have been in development for three or four years.

In actuality, the series has been in development since 2010, long before ABC’s “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” series. The then-titled “AKA Jessica Jones” was set to debut in fall 2011. However, that time came and went. The network later passed on the show in May 2012.

Finally, in 2013, Marvel and Disney made a deal with Netflix to make four exclusive live-action series, including hit “Daredevil” and Rosenberg’s long-shelved “Jessica Jones.”

I saw the first episode at New York Comic Con in October, and it’s not a big shock that ABC passed on the series. Rosenberg previously said she had “toned it down for the network.” As fans will see, it’s basically an R-rated Marvel adaptation made for the small screen. It’s dark, it’s gritty, and it’s really mature — the series deals with themes like rape and PTSD — but it’s really good.

Jessica jonesMyles Aronowitz/NetflixKrysten Ritter as Jessica Jones.

It’s been a long, arduous journey for Rosenberg to get the series on screen, but it seems like the wait was well worth it and enabled the producers to get the cast they wanted.

“With David Tennant, he had been the person we wanted for [the villain] Kilgrave, but he wasn’t available at the time,” said Rosenberg. “So we went through all the lists and we talked to all different people and then by the time I actually came around to shooting it, he was available again so we jumped on him like mad people.”

Kilgrave, also known as the purple man, can be likened to a stalker who’s obsessed with Krysten Ritter’s lead character, Jones.

Jessica jones kilgraveMyles Aronowitz/NetflixDavid Tennant, shrouded in purple, as Kilgrave.

Rosenberg explained that in the many years while the future of the series was up in the air, head of Marvel television Jeph Loeb, who brought the idea of “Jessica Jones” to her, would call every three to four months with an idea on how to make the series potentially work. This went on for a while, according to Rosenberg.

“Finally, whenever we got the greenlight, he calls me and says, ‘OK, if the press contact you tell them you don’t know anything,'” she recalled. “I said, ‘No problem!’ And that’s when I found out it was going to be at Netflix.”

“Had I fantasized about the perfect place for it [Jessica Jones], it would have been Netflix,” Rosenberg added.

All 13 hour-long episodes of “Jessica Jones” will be available to stream November 20.

NOW WATCH: Watch the cast of ‘Jessica Jones’ assemble on stage at New York Comic Con

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