Why did “Agent Carter” get cancelled?

Making a tv adaptation of a comic film is not an easy feat, especially at the risk of tarnishing great characters. However, some have risen to the challenge, like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Or Agent Carter, which found great popularity amongst fans. 

Regardless of how good they were, the two adaptations eventually faced the fate of cancellation. 

While Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. wrapped up in its seventh season, Agent Carter ended after only two seasons on screen, leaving fans wondering why a show like Agent Carter, with such well-liked characters, would end so soon. 

Agent Carter 8 x 10 Photo Hayley Atwell/Peggy Carter in Uniform Hands on Hips Gorgeous! kn

What was Marvel’s Agent Carter?

Marvel’s Agent Carter is an American television series created by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely, for the A.B.C. network, based on the 2011 film Captain America: The First Avenger.

In the Agent Carter series, Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) reprises her role from Captain America: The First Avenger

Despite still mourning the loss of her husband, Steven Rogers, she is determined and unstoppable, serving as a secret agent for the Strategic Scientific Reserve – dedicated to fighting new atomic threats post World War II. 

Marvel website’s consensus reads, “Focusing on Peggy Carter as a person first and an action hero second makes Marvel’s Agent Carter a winning, stylish drama with bursts of excitement and an undercurrent of cheeky fun.” 

The series also features an variety of characters, including series regulars Chad Michael Murray as Jack Thompson, Enver Gjokaj as Daniel Sousa and James D’Arcy as Edwin Jarvis.

Marvel's Agent Carter - Season 1 [Blu-ray] [2015] [Region Free]

The Marvel series solidified interest from fans who appreciated the dynamics of the show. However, it was not renewed for a third season.

Why did Agent Carter get cancelled?

There was a lot to do with Peggy Carter’s character and a plethora of material to explore on the show for a third season. Instead, the show’s producers decided to drop the bad news of the show’s cancellation.

A fan expressed on a Reddit post that the show didn’t deserve a cancellation, “The characters are engaging and lovable (especially in season 2), and the storylines are well thought out and entertaining. Plus, a female lead is kick-ass despite not having superhuman abilities. I totally get why Cap went back to be with her.” 

The Lady in the Lake

According to Showbiz Cheatsheet, the Hayley Atwell-fronted Marvel series got canceled due to decreasing viewer ratings.

The show had a decent viewership in the first season. Rotten Tomatoes reported a 96% approval rating with an average rating of 7.92/10 based on 46 reviews. As Agent Carter kicked off its second, viewer ratings plummeted to about more than half of its original viewership, to 2.35 million reported Digital Spy

Marvel television chief, Jeph Loeb, told Entertainment Weekly that A.B.C.’s decision to cancel the show with Marvel Studios had nothing to do with the imminent arrival of streaming service Disney+.

Actress Hayley Atwell gave more detail on why A.B.C. canceled the Marvel TV series in an interview with The A.V. Club.

According to Atwell, A.B.C. wanted her to star in something else, which fans would soon discover was the legal drama Conviction where she starred as Hayes Morrison, a lawyer and former first daughter, who must help the wrongfully convicted to avoid jail time.

“It’s a shame the network canceled it and wanted to put me in something more mainstream,” she said.

Unfortunately, the show received largely unflattering reviews and ended after 13 episodes. 

Will there be a third season of Agent Carter?

Despite the show’s producers giving mixed answers on whether there will be a possible third season renewal, we are convinced that Agent Carter will not see a revival.

Regarding the show’s return, co-creator Stephen McFeely told Los Angelos Times that, “I don’t know. It was an expensive show. You’re doing period [drama] as well as you can in Los Angeles.” 

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During a Reddit A.M.A., Marvel TV boss Jeph Loeb sounded more open to the idea (which a couple of years on, seems like he was bluffing).

“Wouldn’t that be cool?” he said. “Find us a network! Hayley has been kind of saying she’d love to come back.” 

Ultimately, no one can do Agent Carter like Hayley Atwell. If she’s not on board, any speculations are baseless.

“I wouldn’t want to go over old ground. It would have to be new. There would have to be higher production values so she could do more. I’d have to feel like it’s not just, you know, a case a week with Peggy Carter,’ said Atwell.

She continued, “If she’s had an impact on audiences, let that impact grow, so it delights them, but I think it should be to do with more of the current climate now. What are smart issues to bring up? How to create any sort of kind of social weight, an emotional kind of gravitas to the show.”

Almost three years since the cancellation, we think it is time to stop hoping for the show’s return.

What would Agent Carter’s third season have been about?

Agent Carter’s producer Jose Molina revealed the hook of season 3 was going to come from the investigation into the assassination attempt on Jack Thompson. “We were hoping (assuming we could afford it) that the story would then lead us to London, where we would learn that Peggy’s late brother Michael was not only alive and kicking but involved in some very nefarious, super-villainous shenanigans,” she said.

An unexpected comeback, sort of

With the release of What If…?, a new anthology series on Disney +, fanboys and girls were just treated to an animated reprisal of Peggy Carter!

This time, Hayley Atwell lends her voice to an alternate universe where Peggy Carter gets the Super Soldier Serum instead of Steve Rogers. 

Not quite the return many hoped for everyone’s favorite female agent, but hey, we’ll take it!

More Hayley Atwell

In 2021, fans of the British actress will be seeing Hayley Atwell in the seventh Mission impossible instalment. The picture has been concurrently shot with the eighth movie, which will follow in theatres in November 2022.