Freeform has been struggling to forge its own identity since its rebranding from ABC Family in 2016, and their next best chance at this has just flown the coop. Marvel’s New Warriors was set to debut on Freeform in 2018, but now the show is seeking a new home. After failing to find a time slot for the series, Marvel took it back and are now going to shop it around.
In 2016, ABC Family channel rebranded itself as Freeform, with a plan to bring in an audience of young adults (aka millennials), rather than just exist as a channel for kids to watch with their families. One possible winner for Freeform was the Marvel series New Warriors, featuring a superhero team that includes popular character Squirrel Girl (played by Milana Vayntrub on the show). Here’s how Marvel described the show:
“Marvel’s New Warriors” is about six young people with powers living and working together. With powers and abilities on the opposite end of the spectrum of The Avengers, the New Warriors want to make a difference in the world… Even if the world isn’t ready. Not quite super, not yet heroes, “Marvel’s New Warriors” is about that time in your life when you first enter adulthood and feel like you can do everything and nothing at once — except in this world, bad guys can be as terrifying as bad dates.”
Today, however, THR reports that Marvel is pulling New Warriors from Freeform and looking for a new home. The THR story reports the split is amicable, with Freeform claiming they couldn’t find the right time slot for the series. Yet early test screenings for New Warriors have been extremely positive, and for Freeform to give up on a potentially winning idea seems fishy. Could it be that Marvel realized that their audience for a possible hit show would be limited on Freeform, and became more interested in finding a more prominent home for it? Maybe.
As for where New Warriors ends up now, THR reports that Marvel is limited in selling their properties to outside companies, which likely means that New Warriors will end up on a Disney-owned channel at some point. The best best is the much talked about Disney streaming service, which is currently in development to launch in 2019 and will be bringing all kinds of Disney content with it. Whether or not Marvel wants to hold off New Warriors, which was set to debut in 2018, for a whole year is another question.
As for Freeform, they’re not entirely out of the Marvel business. The channel still has the Marvel series Cloak and Dagger set to air in 2018.
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