When the announcement came down the pipes about a show based in the same Marvel Universe as "The Avengers," fans became excited. Some fans might be discouraged, though, by the revelation that the characters from the Marvel movies will not be stars of the show and might not even make appearances. This is actually a good thing for the show and for the Marvel franchises.
Contractual obligationsMost of the stars who have portrayed Marvel characters in the recent Phase One movie run have signed multi-movie contracts. If the actors were invited to be on the proposed show, as well, the original contracts might have to be revisited, and this could cost Marvel considerably. As a political/business consultant, I can tell you that when a contract is reopened, the working party typically will ask for more money or a more lucrative deal, and it would not be financially sound for Marvel and Disney to give the actors the opportunity to demand more money.
Difficulty with continuityIf the major characters from the movies were on the TV show, Joss Whedon would have to keep closer tabs on potential continuity issues between the show and the movies. While it might be easier for him since he is directing "The Avengers 2" (working title) and the proposed Marvel show, it would be another stress he might not want to take on. Also, he would have to get together with the directors and producers of the other Marvel movies to make sure he was not creating scenarios that could harm their written or nearly written scripts.
Viewership hills and valleys
If the major characters from the movies were to make occasional appearances on the proposed Marvel Universe show, viewership could peak and recede on a regular basis. If word got out about Thor being in an upcoming episode, there would be a surge in viewership as fans of the Asgardian god tune in to see how he is portrayed on the show. The next few weeks would have a decline if there were not any more scheduled special appearances coming up. This can put a strain on ABC, Marvel, and advertisers as they have to deal with significant ups and downs in regard to the amount of money made from the TV project. ABC would have to negotiate on a regular basis with advertisers to explain why one weak appearance (which might have a special) should be more expensive for advertising than another.
After a short time, ABC could pressure Marvel into making special appearances happen every week to ensure higher ratings. Nobody wants a show with a revolving door of special appearances as it would cheapen the show and make each week into a separate gimmick. Marvelites want the show to succeed and a revolving door would be a major shark jump and signify the near-end of the show.
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