November 18, 2016
Marvel Television: A Tale Of Two Networks

To say Marvel Television has seen highs and lows is a gross understatement. While it can hardly be argued that the movie arm of the Cinematic Universe is clearly leading its counterpart DC, the same can't be said for the small screen. It seems Marvel has become a mixed bag when it comes to ratings, and a good deal can be tied to the networks the shows appear on.

Despite the fact that Netflix doesn't release viewership numbers, most believe that the Marvel shows on the streaming provider have enjoyed more success than the ABC counterparts. If ratings and cancellations are any indication, it can't help but be true.

Marvel Agents of SHIELD debuted to very respectable ratings to open Season 5. It primarily had to do with the promise of Ghost Rider now being part of the series. However, after the initial impact, ratings have suffered and it finds itself as one of the lowest-rated shows on Disney-owned ABC. Business Insider recently put it in one of the shows that might be on the chopping block this season.

[Image by ABC Network]
[Image by ABC Network]

This follows a long line of problems that ABC has had with television shows involving Marvel characters. Marvel's Agent Carter was cancelled last year despite a healthy cult following. A planned spinoff of SHIELD titled Marvel's Most Wanted never managed to make it to the network despite writing off a couple of main characters from the SHIELD team.

However, there are indications that this may not be the last season for Agent Coulson and his sometimes rogue agents. SHIELD has managed to keep its popularity among DVR viewers. According to TVMoJoe, viewers have increased throughout the season on DVR. While the network loses on the advertising dollars, it still proves that there may be some life left in the show.

Agents of SHIELD also got a major boost this week in the form of an announcement that Inhumans will be making its debut on ABC, September 2017. It had been thought that Inhumans would see a two-week run in IMAX Theaters prior to moving to the network, but according to The Verge, those plans have been scrapped.

While the problems on ABC continue, Marvel Television on Netflix seems to be thriving. Some would have you believe that the recently released series Luke Cage actually broke the streaming giant when it debuted. According to Esquire, the day after Luke Cage raged into Harlem, Netflix was sidelined for two hours. Netflix has not confirmed the rumor that Cage is responsible.

[Image by Netflix]
[Image by Netflix]

The Observer noted that an analytics group known as Symphony Alpha Media has determined that Luke Cage debuted better than any other Netflix show this year. That is something to be said considering Stranger Things and Making a Murderer both saw debuts in 2016. They arrived at the numbers through a complicated method that involves information some viewers may not be comfortable with.

"...the company that pays people to give the company access to their mobile phones' sensors. Critically, consumers gives the startup access to their device's microphone, which allows it to take samples of ambient sound. With that, it can pick up sounds from TV shows, which is how they derive their ratings. Watching live TV? It also follows Symphony app users around using GPS to see if they visit stores whose ads they have seen."
Currently, all Netflix Marvel Television shows have found some degree of success on the service. Daredevil has two seasons under its belt. Jessica Jones will be seen along with Daredevil and Ironfist (show due in 2017) for the Defenders mini-series later in 2017. Daredevil anti-hero The Punisher will also get his own show.

It should be noted that the shows are decidedly more mature in nature on Netflix than they are on ABC. No statistical information is available to support this as being the reason.

Why do you think Marvel Television does better on Netflix than ABC? Is it the violence? Is it the more adult themes? Is it the characters?

[Featured Image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images]