Fans went through a roller coaster of emotions when Marvel’s Agent Carter ended it’s second season on a cliffhanger only to be cancelled by ABC soon afterwards.
The writing had seemed on the wall in February 2016 when star Hayley Atwell was cast as the lead of the ABC drama Conviction. Most were concerned that she would not want to or be allowed to play double duty, meaning that the past set Marvel Cinematic Universe series would go.
Turns out though, the decision about the two shows was fully in the hands of ABC. In an interview with IGN, Atwell revealed that ABC chose to cancel Agent Carter because they wanted to use her in the eventually short-lived Conviction for ratings.
“You know Marvel and all the creatives behind the making of the show loved it,” Atwell said. “And we loved it. We all loved making it. It was a network political thing. They wanted to put me in something mainstream [Conviction] to get their ratings up rather than something that was more genre specific. There were a lot of economic decisions behind it and I wasn’t a part of the conversation. So we were all really surprised about that because we kind of got the sense that people were liking it. It had this cult following. So I know there’ve been online campaigns for it and the fact that we know that she lives until the age of 96 means that technically I could be employed for the rest of my life, you know.”
That fits with what Marvel Television Head Jeph Loeb said to Bussiness Insider at the time of the cancellation last summer.
“There were no conversations,” Loeb said. “We had a call from the network. The network said they were cancelling the show.”
At the same time the network also passed on the other Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. related spinoff series Marvel’s Most Wanted, leaving the S.H.I.E.L.D. series all alone on the network at least until Marvel’s Inhumans debuts this fall.