To save you having to wander aimlessly around the internet looking for the latest, here’s a recap of what the press are saying about Marvel’s Agent’s of S.H.I.E.L.D. after the ABC Upfront Presentations today.
On the plus side, the centerpiece of the network’s presentation, “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” looked big, cinematic and enticing, and ABC (like Marvel, now part of Disney) has a lot riding on this “Avengers” brand extension — not the least being that the network is rather inexplicably using the show not just to lead off its Tuesday lineup, but as the launching pad for three more new series that will also air that night.
In the history of TV, the number of primetime nights that failed to feature a single returning program are almost as rare as the times that strategy has worked; still, ABC doubtless thinks a TV show related to a movie that made more than $600 million in the U.S. isn’t a completely unproven commodity. We’ll see.
Incidentally, ABC still hasn’t explained how Clark Gregg — who was conspicuously killed in the movie — returns as Agent Coulson, but given the geek-cool and humor he brings to the role, it’s hard to blame them for trying. (Just please don’t be his twin brother.) But the basic notion of having S.H.I.E.L.D. as a vanguard against super threats does fit the procedural mode and offer the possibility of bringing a broader audience to the set, which was clearly the Alphabet network’s strategy in putting its Wonderland-based “Once Upon a Time” spinoff on Thursdays at 8. — Variety
Arguably the most highly anticipated broadcast network pilot of the season is “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” Despite the clunky title, it appears to have lived up to every expectation — and the expectations were astronomical, considering Joss Whedon’s involvement. “You nerds are gonna love it,” teased Lee at the upfront, and for once, we actually believe him. In the show, Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg), who has been resurrected from the feature films, assembles a team of non-superhero agents to “protect the ordinary from the extraordinary.” (“Clark Gregg is an actor so talented, even I couldn’t kill him!” teased Whedon at the Upfront.) The trailer has a touch of humor, a whole lot of action, and just enough emotional pull for it to make sense for ABC. We hate to be nay-sayers, because the new agents look interesting enough, but we do have a few doubts about some of the acting featured in the trailer. Since we want to love this one so badly, we’ll hope it’s just a result of the trailer editing, and not a harbinger of clunky work in future episodes — Zap2It
“Last spring, Bob Iger sent us some bonus footage from The Avengers, with a simple question, ‘Is there a show here?’” said ABC Entertainment Group chief Paul Lee at the network’s upfront presentation today. Obviously the answer was yes, and next fall the ABC series Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. takes the Tuesday 8 PM slot previously given to Dancing With The Stars which moves to Monday night for a 2-hour block. Joss Whedon was nervous and rambling as he faced TV media buyers and advertisers right before the end of the presentation. He appeared on stage with the entire cast of S.H.I.E.L.D. – Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge. Whedon at first tried to be funny. “I’ll be brief. I was born…” But then he grew serious. “I wasn’t born. I was grown in a lab… and fed on Marvel Comics — and that turned out OK for me.” As to why Avengers was so successful, Whedon said, “It worked because everyone felt included” and predicted the TV show would have the same effect on viewers. He praised S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s unorthodox leading man Clark Gregg as “an actor so talented even I couldn’t kill him” so Whedon said he “built S.H.I.E.L.D. around him” because he “had a story to tell [how] to be an ordinary person in an increasingly extraordinary world. We wanted to say that everybody could be a part of this – men, women, children and “grownups who love comic books”. Earlier in the day Paul Lee told reporters that SH.I.E.L.D. “tested so well in all four quadrants”. –Deadline
ABC Entertainment President Paul Lee said he hopes the “Avengers” connection, in an age when many of the biggest movies are comic book adaptations, “will bring in a whole new audience.”
The show will be executive-produced by Joss Whedon, who did the “Avengers” on film, and Lee said the potential of the new show was one reason the network will consolidate all of “Dancing With the Stars” into one Monday show, 8-10 p.m. — NYDailyNews
[ABC President Paul] Lee will kick off his Tuesday with the closest thing to slam-dunk as he can get with Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from The Avengers director JossWhedon. You don’t need to spend much time listening to Lee to know that he and his team are banking on the franchise’s built-in awareness as well as its broad (or, yes, “four-quadrant”) appeal to lift the network. — Hollywood Reporter
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