As if there was any doubt, Marvel’s Inhumans Season 2 is not happening. ABC made the show’s cancellation official yesterday as all the networks prepare to unveil their new Fall 2018-19 schedules in the coming weeks, and Marvel’s third ABC superhero series did not make the cut. The series had a weird road to the network, as Marvel Studios was initially developing an Inhumans movie before the TV arm of Marvel decided to forge ahead with a serialized adaptation of the comic book. This came in the wake of Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige’s split from Marvel CEO Ike Perlmutter, who no longer oversees the Marvel movies but still has control over the television side of things, so this all felt a little bit personal.
Regardless, Marvel TV—headed up by Jeph Loeb—forged ahead with an ambitious take on Inhumans which saw them teaming up with the folks at IMAX to co-produce the series and premiere the first two episodes on IMAX screens across the country. While well-intentioned, this idea fell a bit flat as the IMAX-shot series couldn’t really be appreciated visually on television screens, and it felt as though the show’s directors hadn’t really taken proper advantage of the IMAX cameras—it just looked like a regular TV show.
Then there was the content of the show, which was definitely rushed into production to meet a debut date and didn’t get to benefit from significant development time. Scott Buck, former Dexter showrunner and the showrunner behind the first season of Marvel’s Netflix series Iron Fist, took the reins, but reviews for the show were savage and viewership dwindled as the eight-episode first season ran its course.
ABC and Marvel were conspicuously quiet during the show’s run, perhaps realizing this was a show that simply wasn’t working, and there was no Season 2 announcement when the season wrapped up in November. So this cancellation news was pretty much a foregone conclusion, but if there was any doubt, Inhumans is dead.
There’s still no word on whether ABC will renew Marvel’s other broadcast series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., but that decision is expected to come over the next couple of days. While enjoying a creative upswing, the series has dropped to its lowest ratings ever in its fifth season. If S.H.I.E.L.D. does get cancelled, it’ll be interesting to see if Marvel TV attempts another broadcast series, or if they’ll focus their efforts on cable and streaming. While S.H.I.E.L.D. has been on the brink of cancellation for years and Agent Carter only lasted two seasons, Marvel’s Netflix shows are still churning along and recently Marvel has expanded its purview to Hulu (The Runaways) and now to Freeform with the upcoming Cloak and Dagger.