Here's why 'Agent Carter' was really canceled, according to Marvel's TV boss

ABC’s cancelation of “Agent Carter” after only its second season was a surprise for many.

After all, Marvel and ABC are sibling companies under Disney. And years ago, ABC had been very vocal about wanting to mount a Marvel TV franchise starting with “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Jeph Loeb, who heads television at Marvel, told Business Insider that there wasn’t much discussion between Marvel and ABC surrounding the decision to kill “Agent Carter.”

“There were no conversations,” Loeb told us. “We had a call from the network. The network said they were cancelling the show.”

When we asked what he understood of ABC’s decision, Loeb responded, “I don’t.”

“Agent Carter,” which acted as a gap-filler between seasons of “S.H.I.E.L.D,” was certainly praised by critics, but it was never a barnburner in ratings. According to Nielsen, the show’s second season earned a low 0.79 average rating among viewers most desired by advertisers, adults under age 50, and averaged just 2.7 million total live viewers.

For comparison, “S.H.I.E.L.D.” averaged a 1.18 rating and 3.4 million live viewers.

To add insult to injury in the relationship between ABC and Marvel, the broadcast network passed on ordering the series “Marvel’s Most Wanted.”

But Loeb said the ties between the two Disney branches “couldn’t be better.”

“We make the best shows that we can as they are requested by the various networks,” he explained. “So whether it’s ABC or Netflix or FX or Fox or Freeform, any of the networks that we’re on, they ask us to tell the best stories that we can, and we do that. We hope that, in turn, we’re then going to get the best audience that we can. And when they decide that that’s not something they want to do anymore, there’s not a lot you can do. That’s the nature of the television business.”

As for fans of “Agent Carter,” Loeb emphasised that a goodbye in the Marvel Universe isn’t always final.

“Let me just put it this way: I watched ‘The Avengers.’ Phil Coulson died. His story was done. We’re about to go into the fourth season, and he’s standing right over there,” Loeb gestured to the actor who plays Coulson, Clark Gregg, who was in the room with us. “So I like to think that anything is possible. And that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy my job so much.”

Haley Atwell, who played Carter, is currently starring on ABC’s new fall show “Conviction.” But she’s still in the family.

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