It’s the end of the road for Marvel’s Hulu drama Runaways. The show, based on the Marvel comics series of the same name, is the story of six teenagers who can barely stand each other but who must unite against a common foe – their parents, who it turns out are supervillains in disguise. It stars Rhenzy Feliz, Lyrica Okano, Virginia Gardner, Ariela Barer, Gregg Sulkin, and Allegra Acosta as the titular runaways. Schwartz and Savage serve as writers and showrunners on the series, with Loeb executive producing. The series is a co-production between Marvel Television and ABC Signature Studios.
Apparently, even the addition of Elizabeth Hurley and a big crossover with Cloak & Dagger aren’t expected to be enough to draw in enough viewers since the Disney-backed streamer on Monday announced that the upcoming third season of the young adult-focused series will be its last. The show, from Josh Schwartz and Stephanie Savage (Looking for Alaska, Nancy Drew), will return Dec. 13 for its final season. Last we checked, the show had lower viewership than all of Netflix’s canceled Marvel shows.
According to Business Insider:
Viewership for “Daredevil” dropped to 2.5 million for the third season in its first week of release, and that’s a pattern for all the shows. Season one of “Luke Cage” was watched by 5.4 million viewers in the first week, dropping to 2.3 million for the second season. “The Punisher” viewership dropped 40% in its second season. This could have been especially damaging for the shows, as Deadline reported that Netflix’s costs generally increase for its originals as the seasons go on, particularly after season three.
Interest for Netflix’s Marvel series had been decreasing significantly over time, while interest in “Runaways” rose from its first to second season.
But neither of “Runaways” two seasons hit 1 million viewers in the first week. It’s good to note, however, that Hulu has 25 million subscribers in the US compared with Netflix’s 60 million subscribers in the US and 139 million subscribers worldwide.
Will Hulu have better success with a shared Marvel Animated Universe that’s to feature Howard the Duck, Dazzler, Tigra, and M.O.D.O.K.? Hard to say, since it really depends on current trends, marketing, and ultimately execution. Starting off with openly partisan creators involved, such as Chelsea Handler and Patton Oswalt, isn’t a great strategy these days. According to Deadline, these shows aren’t afraid to be political.
Ex-Netflix talk show host Chelsea Handler shifts over to Hulu for Marvel’s Tigra & Dazzler Show, which she will EP and write with Erica Rivinoja. Like every one of the new series, Loeb will also serve as an EP on the show of the politically progressive Tigra and Dazzler as they try to get their superpowered heads, hands and hearts around life in the City of Angels. Josh Gordon and Will Speck plus Patton Oswalt and Jordan Blum are the respective driver’s seats for Marvel’s Hit-Monkey and Marvel’s M.O.D.O.K. The latter centers on a supervillain with ego and family issues, while the former tracks a pissed off Japanese snow monkey who tries to take on and take down Tokyo’s crime underworld with the ghost of an American assassin by his side. All four series will cross paths in the Marvel’ The Offenders special, which Jeph Loeb is executive producing in what is a major expansion of the CAA-repped Marvel TV.
But with the decision to end Runaways, it’s still being reported that Marvel TV’s Jeph Loeb era continues to dwindle. With the executive expected to formally announce his departure before Thanksgiving, Marvel’s Loeb-produced TV roster is now down to Hulu’s upcoming Helstrom and the slate of four animated series, as well as the previously announced final season of ABC’s Agents of SHIELD