It’s the end of an era. After nearly a decade of trying to bring a slice of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to small screens—with varying degrees of success—Marvel Television is no more.
Deadline reports that a significant portion of the staff under the banner of Marvel Television—previously helmed by Jeph Loeb, who will now also be departing the company following previous rumours of his exit—have been laid off.
Just six current projects will remain: the four animated series pitched to the now-Disney-owned Hulu (although we’ve recently heard about trouble on at least one of those shows, the Tigra and Dazzler team-up series), the live-action Helstrom also in the works for the streaming service, and then ABC’s final season of Agents of SHIELD, the vanguard that Marvel Television made its name on all those years ago.
Work on other Marvel Television projects—presumably things like the in-limbo Damage Control or New Warriors series—will otherwise “not continue with any further development,” according to a notice from the TV division seen by Deadline. These projects and whatever remains of the Marvel Television staff after its shuttering will now be helmed by Marvel Studios, with the Senior VP of Current Programming at Marvel Television, Karim Zreik, transitioning over to oversee their conclusion.
The move comes in the wake of the end of Marvel’s collaboration with Netflix earlier this year, and as Marvel Studios itself enters the TV space through the launch of Disney’s in-house streaming service, Disney+.
The group, who of course also manage Marvel’s swathe of cinematic titles, are currently working on multiple TV series for Disney+, including titles such as Loki, Wandavision, and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which not only feature major actors from its film projects, but will play a fundamental role in connecting together the wider MCU in the wake of this year’s Avengers: Endgame.
This latter angle—the idea that all these projects are interconnected by a singular, cohesive fictional universe—is something that the projects overseen by Marvel Television have always struggled to be a part of.
Always allowed to dance around the realms of the Marvel movies without the movies themselves batting an eyelid in their direction, it was always a one-way-street for recognition. Now, with Marvel Studios essentially fulfilling that role itself, the shuttering of Marvel Television felt like an inevitability.
It’s still the sad end of an era—of an experiment that was never really allowed to shine as much as it should have, yet still strived to shine nonetheless.
Runaways debuts its final season on December 26 and SHIELD will return in 2020 with theirs.