ABC Passes on ‘A.K.A. Jessica Jones’; Says ‘Hulk’ Still Possible For 2013


Superheroes and comic book properties might rule the movies right now but they’re having a hell of a tough time getting a foothold on television these days.

As we reported a few days ago, The CW picked up Arrow but in a world where Wonder Woman, Locke & Key, and Powers have recently been passed on by NBC, Fox, and FX, respectively, Oliver Queen is an anomaly.

Add another show to the “What Might Have Been” heap: Disney-owned ABC has passed on A.K.A. Jessica Jones.

The show, based very loosely on the Marvel MAX series Alias, would have centered around former superhero turned private investigator Jessica Jones, and would have featured Luke Cage and Carol Danvers as supporting characters.

So what’s next? According to the above article, ABC President Paul Lee says, “We’ve got some [TV shows based on Marvel Comics characters] in development, but none that I can talk about at this point.”

One they can talk about is Hulk, the live action series that was announced alongside A.K.A. Jessica Jones as being in development last year at San Diego Comic-Con. According to Lee, a live action Hulk series is still being considered for the 2012-14 TV season. Since the Jolly Green Giant was the breakout star of the billion dollar plus grossing Marvel’s The Avengers, that’s not surprising news. I’d imagine that a lot of Hulk projects that were mired in development hell are now getting reconsidered. Of course, if Marvel Studios decided to bring Mark Ruffalo’s Hulk back to the big screen in his own film that could possibly scuttle the TV series. Right now, The Hulk is like the “nerdy” girl in the teen romantic comedy. He just whipped off his glasses and let his hair down and suddenly all the guys are interested.

There is no word on Cloak & Dagger and Mockingbird, which are supposedly in development for ABC Family.


  1. I think TV is having a helluva tough time right now.

    That said, I would really have enjoyed seeing this, and hope it is still open to development in some other way.

    Also, I would look forward to a Hulk project if done right, as he was the breakout star of the movie, and they do have the tech to do it right now, but they’d have to make it pretty cool to avoid the cheesiness factor.

    Also, they could be a little quicker to the streaming market with some material if they want to generate interest.

    It is where much of the audience has migrated.

  2. “Right now, The Hulk is like the “nerdy” girl in the teen romantic comedy. He just whipped off his glasses and let his hair down and suddenly all the guys are interested.”

    That’s kind of perfect.

  3. has an animated version of a more adult/serious title ever been considered? I’d give it a try.

  4. I admit I don’t know how the TV industry works but it seems like developing programs for network television is a fool’s errand.

    The cost of making a live action series just seems far more expensive to produce than an animated series.

  5. I’m still pissed about Locke & Key. Oh, but don’t worry everyone, Whitney got renewed.

  6. I’m no expert of show business, though I’d say under the conditions of maintaining an audience it’s a safer bet to go with a movie as opposed to a t.v. series. A movie runs about 90 mins. to 2hrs. where a goes between 40 to 50 mins. for at least 12 episodes. A perfect example is Ghost Rider, as bad as the movies are there’s no way it could live as a series.

  7. Oeming mentioned on Word Balloon that they will be reshooting and recasting Powers, so it’s not dead yet (but probably close to it). Bendis must hate Hollywood even more now.

    • Recasting and reshooting means that the pilot that they made is dead. It’s basically a new show at that point.

    • Did you read the last page of Moon Knight? I’m pretty sure Marc Specter’s lines are Bendis’ own words of frustration with Hollywood!

  8. How about a Green Lantern series on NBC? That might be a better gamble than Wonder Woman. People will probably say that would never work but look at Smallville. Who would have thought that that show would last ell even or twelve seasons. Whichever it was. Or maybe a Justice League series? I don’t know but we really need more live action superhero shows targeted towards teens and adults so we can get more people in comics. All DC has to do is advertise their New 52 on TV and put a web address for a comics shop locater and we could have thousands of new readers.

    • Both of those shows would be insanely expensive. Too expensive to do well on TV budgets.

    • True but I still think TV advertisement is the way to go for DC and Marvel.

    • @Runaway13: They can’t really afford it. And DC did some for The New 52, apparently, and it didn’t seem to do a whole lot.

    • I think they could do more with innovative things with social media and online advertising, since that’s where their demographic is anyhow. And i’m not talking about the standard, boring stuff that we ignore every day. “The Death in the Family” call in vote thing was pretty effective social marketing before that was even a thing. I’m amazed they don’t’ try to engage people more like that, with all the online tools available. They could generate huge buzz and get actual coverage across the web instead of the fake press-release driven stuff they depend upon now.

      I’d much rather see them do a CNN, Yahoo, ESPN, IGN etc homepage takeover for a day more than a weak TV buy. The current strategy of depending on fans to evangelize for free, and preaching to the converted with really small scale press release stuff isn’t a winning strategy long term

    • I wonder if DC and Marvel could afford Facebook advertisements? I don’t know. I hear it’s really expensive to get your product advertised on Facebook or Twitter.

    • It can be done, they just need to be creative about it.

      Also, we’re talking
      a. ABC/Disney… a far cry from, say, AMC or TBS
      b. Riding off the coat tails of a movie that has broken all kinds of revenue records. A movie that makes $1 billion this fast can certainly justify making a show with a high-overhead for special FX

      Star Trek TNG once boasted that they were spending almost $1 million an episode in budget. If Paramount can foot that back in the 90s, then Disney can definitely foot $1 mil an episode in 2012.

    • online/facebook advertising is tricky. If you just do the standard stuff, it gets ignored and blocked. You have to spend and think a bit more to do really innovative and memorable things. Thats what gets buzzed about, and starts to really pay off…when people are blogging about how cool your new ad campaign is. Maybe they could collaborate with ESPN or Disney’s digital teams…they all do lots of really cool stuff.

  9. Why not try it as a web series or Netflix and see if there is interest in an on-going series? Film it as a direct to DVD and chart the sales worked for the return of Family Guy and Friday Night Lights. I agree most would be best served as animated series, but in today’s tech savy world there are other options.

  10. Good

  11. Anyone know what stations, other than ABC, are under the Disney Umbrella?

  12. This could mean that Jessica Jones could strike it big on the big screen before television. Maybe her and her future husband could get a movie together, then join up for Avengers 2. That’d be something.

  13. Oh man, this would have been awesome, like making up for Gotham Central never making it on tv.

  14. This show needs to be offered to Showtime or HBO. That was it could keep all the bloto drinking and sex in it

  15. Maybe we are better off without these shows. Based “very loosely” makes me think of the Wanted movie – whatever the hell that was.

    And I loved the Alias comic back in the day.

  16. WHile I think the idea of a Jessica Jones series is an interesting one, I would actually prefer a straight “Heroes for Hire” series. Luke Cage and Danny Rand have one of the most interesting friendships in all of comics, and Power Man and Iron Fast are probably some of the easiest characters to do on TV from a budget stand point. It’s also a really cool concept that would translate very well to TV.

    I’m hoping they go ahead with Cloak and Dagger. Really like those two as well and think a series could be really good.

  17. Is a good Hulk show even fiscally possible for a TV show right now? I would imagine the budget would be astonomical to have a great looking Hulk on TV. I mean, the series could focus on the characters, but if the big Green Machine never shows up, what’s the point?

    • I don’t think the source material for Hulk translates well to television. That isn’t to say there aren’t good Hulk stories but getting the public’s idea of the Hulk (re-emphasized in Avengers) and the Hulk in those stories would take a lot of convincing.

    • As long as every time they show the hulk, it’s in slow motion, I’ll be happy. (Joke for those old enough to get it!)