Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Leaving Netflix: So What Does This All Mean?

By now, we're sure you've heard the news- especially if you're a fan of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders. On Friday, it was confirmed that Netflix's own original Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) would be leaving the streaming service by March 1. The titles that listed removal dates included Daredevil (Seasons 1-3), Jessica Jones (Seasons 1-3), Luke Cage (Seasons 1-2), Iron Fist (Seasons 1-2), The Defenders (Limited Series), and The Punisher (Seasons 1-2)- a total of 160 episodes that spanned over four years (2015-2019). But what wasn't highly reported at the time was that ABC's long-running and still-beloved Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and its 136 episodes (spanning seven seasons, from 2013-2020) would also be exiting Netflix at the end of the month. So what does all of this mean? Here are a few thoughts…

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Cast & Creators Say Goodbye!
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (Image: ABC)

As we said before, the move isn't a surprising one as multimedia companies continue to go all-in with their respective streaming services. Because content is truly queen these days, there's no sweeter content than the kind you can take back ownership of and house exclusively on your streamer. So since Disney owns Marvel Studios, that means all of those characters are important IPs to "The Mouse" so bringing them back "home" is a no-brainer from a business standpoint. Just consider the potential number of new subscribers that will follow those shows to their new home. But here's where it gets to be a bit tricky because the Kevin Feige-led Marvel Studios has already begun "Netflix-izing" his Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with the introduction of Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin in Disney+'s Hawkeye (with more expected soon). There is clearly a desire there on Feige's part to bring these actors and their characters into the fold (even if they're variants of the ones viewers grew to know on Netflix).

But with Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Well, let's time travel back in time to December 2020 to when Hulu's Tom Austen & Sydney Lemmon-starring Helstrom was canceled after one season, marking the final live-action project that ex-Marvel Television head Jeph Loeb had under the Kevin Feige-led Marvel Studios banner. Marvel's Ghost Rider? Gone. Hulu's Marvel's Runaways? Done in three. Freeform's Marvel's Cloak and Dagger? Gone in two. ABC's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Also done. Animated series Howard the Duck, Tigra & Dazzler Show, and The Offenders were canned before they ever hit the serious production stage. And current Hulu animated series Hit-Monkey and Marvel's M.O.D.O.K. are still waiting for a thumbs-up or a thumbs-down when it comes to second seasons. For some, all of this is seen as the fallout from a power-play within Marvel between Feige and Loeb, with Feige finally claiming the crown and going "scorched earth" on anything with Loeb's name attached to it. For others, it was an organic ending for those projects that just so happened to coincide with some boardroom drama.

So where does that leave things moving forward? With Disney looking to juice up its streaming service, I can't imagine any of those series heading anywhere other than Disney+ (sorry, Hulu). That said, expect the Netflix series to have a very prominent presence on the streaming site, especially as more of the characters migrate to the current MCU. With the questions marks still surrounding AOS and MCU canon, I'm not expecting the same for the series. Now what would be a petty move but a not surprising one would be if Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, The Punisher, and The Defenders ended up on Disney+ while AOS ended up on Hulu. Now that would be sending a message. As for the shows heading to Hulu directly to give the second-streamer, a subscriber jolt is also possible but it feels like a short-term fix that can't stop the inevitability of Hulu, ESPN+, and Disney+ eventually merging into some form of the Star (Disney+) hub set-up that "The Mouse" runs overseas. But for now, keep watching this space, Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans…

Enjoyed this? Please share on social media!

About Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
Comments will load 8 seconds after page. Click here to load them now.