Is ABC’s Agent Carter in jeopardy of cancellation? Star Hayley Atwell has just been tapped to lead another ABC drama pilot called Conviction, leading to speculation that the modestly rated Marvel series might be reaching its end.
According to Deadline, Conviction will star Atwell as the brilliant but ne’er-do-well daughter of a former President, who is blackmailed into taking a job as the head of Los Angeles’ newly created Conviction Integrity Unit. She, along with her team of lawyers, investigators and forensic experts, work together to examine cases where there’s credible suspicion that the wrong person may have been convicted of a crime.
Coincidentally enough, Atwell’s character in Conviction is also named Carter, although Deadline reports that this will likely change. The developing legal drama is co-created by Liz Friedman (Marvel’s Jessica Jones), who also penned the script, and Liz Friedlander (The Following), who will direct the pilot.
Right now, Conviction is only in its pilot stage and is not guaranteed to go to series. Still, fans have already begun wondering what the new project signifies for the future of Agent Carter. With its star now committed to another potential TV show, is the comic book-inspired series doomed?
While never exactly being a ratings powerhouse, Agent Carter earned critical acclaim in its freshman season, making its second season renewal somewhat of a pleasant surprise. Unfortunately, the show has seen even more sharply declining ratings in season two. Despite heavy marketing on the network’s part, the show’s second season premiere performed disappointingly, only with 3.3 million total viewers and a 1.0 demo rating. The show has continued to see a dip in ratings, with the most recent episode only garnering 2.66 million viewers. Those numbers already make it far from a sure thing for another renewal. Now, with Atwell’s new commitment to another series, things aren’t looking great for Agent Carter’s chance at a third season.
Still, fans shouldn’t lose all hope just yet. ABC is still waiting to make a decision on Agent Carter’s potential for renewal and the network insists the choice won’t be impacted by Atwell’s new project. According to Deadline, if both Conviction and Agent Carter do end up moving forward, the plan is to try and work out a schedule that will allow Atwell to work on both shows. While that will certainly be tricky, it wouldn’t be impossible, given that both series are set up at the same network. Plus, Agent Carter is a limited midseason series (the current season only consists of 10 episodes), so with a little planning, Atwell could potentially have enough time to play both roles.
In addition to headlining Agent Carter, Atwell has played Peggy Carter in four Marvel universe feature films: Captain America: The First Avenger, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age Of Ultron and most recently Ant-Man. Viewers will have to stay tuned to find out whether the Marvel series can escape the chopping block this season and let Atwell reprise her role for a third season.
As for Marvel, the company has been on a roll with its small screen adaptations in recent years, launching popular, critically acclaimed shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC, and Netflix’s Daredevil and Jessica Jones. If Agent Carter does get cancelled, it would be the first title from Marvel’s contemporary TV slate to get axed.