TV Surf Report: Super Hero Series Still Trending … And The Newest And Most Welcome Super Power Is Diversity (Thanks, Marvel!)


{Updated, Aug. 24, 2019}

Santa Monica, CAMarvel blew everyone away with its film and television slate announcement at the just-concluded San Diego Comic-Con and D23 Expo. The best news is the newest super power in both television and in film is Diversity.

Just when you thought we’d satiated the audience’s hunger for Super Heroes with the ever-expanding but aging Arrowverse comes the DC Universe (which is in jeopardy due to the impending launch of Warner Media Streaming) and Disney’s forthcoming streaming service, Disney+, which I think will be a big big hit especially considering the excitement after the newest box office reigning champion, Avengers: Endgame.

RIP, Stan Lee.  Thank You for everything. Excelsior!

Television is about to get even more crowded (and more interesting) with Caped Crusaders thanks to Marvel and its limited series featuring several AvengersLoki, Falcon and The Winter Soldier, and Scarlet Witch!

That said, Neftlix cancelled all its Marvel shows, including it biggest super hero hit, Daredevil, after three successful seasons; and, both Luke Cage and Iron Fist after two seasons; and The Punisher and Jessica Jones, after 2 and 3 seasons, respectively.

Look for them to return either on Disney+ (launching Nov. 12th!) and possibly as The Defenders (if a deal is reached for a second season, that is).  How Avengers: Endgame Sets Up Marvel Series On Disney Plus, per Nerdist.

Here’s who will be vying for your attention on the small screen:

Marvel TV:

  • She Hulk on Disney+ Just announced at the D23 Expo. Interesting. This is how Marvel continues The Hulk without having to deal with Universal or film rights to a solo movie. Am unfamiliar with this character, though.
  • Ms. Marvel on Disney+ Streaming gets its first Muslim super hero who will also appear on the big screen in Phase 5 of the MCU. Smart to introduce to her first via streaming.
  • Moon Knight on Disney+ Another super hero who I am unfamiliar with, but fans online are rooting for Ricky Whittle (American Gods) to play him.
  • Falcon and The Winter Soldier on Disney+. Set to premiere Fall 2020. Hmm. Am unsure about this team-up as I suspect Marvel is going for an Odd Couple/Lethal Weapon buddy comedy vibe in this 6-part limited series which also features Daniel Bruhl as Baron Zemo and Emily Van Camp as Agent Sharon Carter. Malcolm Spellman (Empire) and Derek Kolstad (John Wick) script. Kari Skogland directs.  Here Are A Few Potential Storylines, per Nerdist …
  • Wanda Vision on Disney+. Set to premiere Spring 2021. Jac Schaeffer (Black Widow) scripts and EPs. Paul Bettany and Elisabeth Olsen will reprise their respective Avengers in a 6-8 episode limited series. Notably, Vision died at the hands of Thanos in Infinity War, and Scarlet Witch evaporated along with half of the universe’s population and was returned thanks to Tony Stark in Endgame, so they both have some explaining to do! Variety Has The Details. Interestingly, Scarlet Witch might be the character who brings in the X-Men to the MCU via a popular comic storyline, The House of M. Kat Dennings set to reprise her role of Darcy from Thor. Interesting.
  • Loki on Disney+. Set to premiere Spring 2021. Tom Hiddleston is set to reprise his role in a series all his own. Lots of source material from which to draw on the further adventures of the God of Mischief (even though he was killed by Thanos in Infinity War!). Michael Waldron (Rick & Morty) set to write and to EP. Storyline picks up supposedly from Avengers: Endgame when Loki vanishes with the Tesseract in the recent past (before Thanos kills him). Kate Herron set to direct.

  • What If? on Disney+. Set to premiere Summer 2021.  Jeffrey Wright (Westworld) is set as The Watcher, an otherworldly being who narrates this animated anthology series exploring What If scenarios in the MCU, such as What if Peggy Carter became Captain America instead of Steve Rogers? All the original actors involved are supposedly set to voice their characters. Sounds pretty intriguing to me.
  • Hawkeye on Disney+. Set to premiere Fall 2021. Jeremy Renner is set to reprise his role as Clint Barton in a limited series that explores his relationship with his daughter, Kate, who at some point, assumes the Hawkeye persona. Marvel is really utilizing its deep bench of supporting Avengers. Jonathan Igla (Mad Men) to script and EP.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. at ABC. Is the series still on? Yes, S6 premiered May 8th. Series has been renewed for S7 which will be its last. Joss Whedon EPs.
  • Daredevil on Netflix. Cancelled even though S3 has been hailed as The Highest Peak of Marvel TV.
  • Jessica Jones on Netflix. Cancelled following S3 which premiered in April. Too bad!
  • The Punisher on Netflix. Cancelled following S2. Sorry, Jon Bernthal.
  • Ghost Rider on Hulu. Gabriel Luna set to star. What no Nic Cage????? Not moving forward.
  • Helstrom on Hulu. What in the hell is Helstrom, you ask? Me, too. More to come.
  • The Gifted at Fox. Cancelled after two seasons.
  • Marvel’s Runaways at Hulu. S2 now streaming. Renewed for S3 which premieres Dec. 13th. Elizabeth Hurley joins the cast as Morgan Le Fay.
  • Legion at FX.  S3 will be its last, but the upside is that Professor X makes his appearance as the estranged father to Dan Stevens. Final season premiered June 24th.
  • Cloak & Dagger at Freeform.  S2 premiered April 4th with a 2-hour episode.
  • Howard the Duck (Hulu) Seriously. Kevin Smith to direct an animated series featuring this silliest of super heroes. Nerdist Has The Details Here…

DC Universe

Uber-Producer Greg Berlanti, Hollywood’s $400m Man, has 14 series on the air. That’s all ya need to know about the DC Universe because Berlanti is King of the World there. However, the big news released during San Diego’s Comic-Con is the 5-hour crossover event within the Arrowverse, called Crisis On Infinite Earths.

Supposedly, this Event TV will involve major deaths from each series, but the coolest casting news is that actor Burt Ward returns, presumably as ’60s Robin from my favorite Batman series. Also, Lynda Carter is reportedly returning as Wonder Woman.

I expect this stunt programming will yield big ratings for The CW. I don’t watch any of these series, and I am very into this event.

  • Arrow on The CW. Series star Stephen Ammel announced that S8 will be the series’ last. That’s big news for the Arrowverse and its subsequent spinoffs, The Flash  (renewed for S6), DC’s Legends of Tomorrow (renewed for S5) and Black Lightning (renewed for S3).Ten Episodes Will Wrap It Up In The Fall, per Deadline.
  • Arrow Spin-off featuring Green Arrow and the Canaries is in the works as a backdoor pilot. Stay tuned.
  • Supergirl on The CW. What began as a high profile mismatch on CBS is now a good fit on The CW’s new Sunday night aimed squarely at young girls. Jon Cryer joins the cast as Lex Luthor. Renewed for S5.
  • Batwoman will make her debut on The CW via the Arrowverse with her own spinoff to follow. Greg Berlanti, EPs. Ruby Rose stars as the lesbian superheroine. David Nutter directs the pilot.
  • Titans — Greg Berlanti, Akiva Goldsman, and Geoff Johns executive produce the flagship series for DCU, which premiered 10/12 and is already renewed for S2. EW Gives Titans A Rave.; $8/month subscription will test the mainstream appeal but fanboys are sure to show up to hear Robin exhort, “Fuck Batman!” This series is not for kids. Esai Morales is set to star as Deathstroke in S2, which premieres in September. Here’s the Trailer for a Free Preview.
  • Swamp Thing at DC Universe. James Wan (Aquaman) EPs this series which premiered May 31st and cancelled within one week after its debut.  Len Wiseman (Underworld) directs. Jennifer Beals, Will Patton, and Virginia Madsen set to star. Here’s a 1st-Look Trailer.
  • Lobo at SyFy. This is a pilot spinoff of Krypton, featuring the intergalactic bounty hunter played by Emmett J. Scanlan. SyFy has reportedly passed on this project following its cancellation of Krypton.
  • Lucifer cancelled at Fox but picked up by Netflix for S4 (now streaming) and renewed for S5 (the final season). Graham McTavish (Aquaman, Outlander, LOTR) guest stars.  Here is the devilish S4 T R A I L E R.
  • Krypton on SyFy. The family saga led by Superman’s grandfather continues in S2, which premiered June 12th, however, SyFy has since cancelled the series. No S3 unless DC Universe picks it up for streaming. Here’s the T R A I L E R.


  • Harley Quinn — Kaley Cuoco (The Big Bang Theory) voices Harley in this animated series that finds Joker’s ex-girlfriend sharing a prison cell at Arkham with Poison Ivy (voiced by Lake Bell). Here’s the TRAILER.
  • Doom Patrol was featured on a recent episode of Titans. Spinoff is forthcoming! Brendan Fraser and Matt Bomer star among the voice cast. Here’s Everything You Need To Know, per Rotten Tomatoes. Renewed for S2.Stargirl — Based on the comic created in 1999 by Geoff Johns to honor his sister, this series centers around Brec Bassinger who stars as a high school sophomore and a group of teen superheroes. Justice League Jr.!  Premieres in 2020. Greg Berlanti EPs, natch. The Wrap Has The Casting Details…
  • Stargirl at DC Universe — Geoff Johns created this high school super heroine character to honor is late sister. Premieres in 2020. Hope it succeeds.
  • Gotham at Fox. S5 just concluded as did the series by finally introducing Batman, and yet Batman prequels are all the rage right now. Weird.
  • Pennyworth at Epix — Bruno Heller (Gotham) tells the prequel story of Bruce Wayne’s butler, Alfred. Jack Bannon (The Imitation Game) stars in the 10-episode series set in 1960s London. Premieres July 28th. Mixed Review From Variety.Nerdist Has More Info Here.


Star Wars:


  • The Further Adventures of Obi-Wan Kenobi (Disney+) Ewan MacGregor has reportedly signed on for a limited series, wherein, he’ll reprise his role as everyone’s favorite Jedi Master. Will be interested to see where this goes as there is lots of uncharted territory for this character after the first three prequel films which I thought were dreadful to Star Wars: A New Hope (which I still love). I’m in. Deborah Chow (The Mandalorian) set to direct.
  • Rogue One (Disney +) Diego Luna stars in a prequel espionage-themed series set before those pesky Bothans steal the plans for the Deathstar which is destroyed in Star Wars IV. Expect the Empire to be quite healthy in this one.
  • The Mandalorian (Disney+) Jon Favreau EPs this action/adventure following a lone gunslinger (Boba Fett anyone?) in the Star Wars Universe. Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnorak) directs a few epsiodes and voices an android, which is exciting. Pedro Pascal (Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Game of Thrones, Narcos)  and Nick Nolte in talks to star. Timeline is post-Return of the Jedi.  The jury is definitely out on this one. Favreau Explains It All, via THR.


  • Watchmen (HBO) EP Damon Lindelöf (The Leftovers, Lost) returns to the graphic novel for his adaptation eschewing Zack Snyder’s dreadful feature, and it looks like there’s a new vigilante in town. Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross of Nine Inch Nails scored the music for the pilot which was directed by Nicole Kassell (The Leftovers). Check out the fantastic T R A I L E R. Regina King kicks some serious butt. Looking forward to this series. Question: Is this property considered part of the DC Universe? Series premieres in October.
  • American Gods (Starz)  Renewed for S3 with Charles Eglee tapped as the new showrunner. Blythe Danner guests as the goddess Demeter. Very interesting as this character was not in the novel. S2 premiered to lotsa buzz and mixed reviews. Ricky Whittle returns as Neil Gaiman’s hero, Shadow Moon, but Gillian Anderson will not return as the goddess Media, replaced by New Media. Clever. Neil Gaiman promises S3 will take us to Laketown, a major setting in the novel, so I can’t wait to see who is cast as Hinzleman! I loved this novel and enjoyed the first season. Fingers crossed it’ll be just as good. Here’s the T R A I L E R for S2. Looks good!
  • The Magicians (SyFy) Lev Grossman’s enthralling trilogy adaptation has been renewed for S5. Never dug the casting here. Ho Hum. Musical episode! I may have to give it a binge, though. More Magic Promised For S5, per EW.
  • Preacher (AMC) has just been picked up for S4, which will be its last. Dominic Cooper stars in this successful adaptation of the graphic novel. Seth Rogen EPs.
  • Umbrella Academy (Netflix)  Ellen Page leads this ensemble of super heroes. Just renewed for S2.

  • The Boys (Amazon) From the guys who brought us Preacher comes a new series from a cancelled DC Comic (too raunchy!) starring Karl Urban (Star Trek) in an ensemble comedy about a group of guys with superpowers who like to hang out together. Already renewed for S2 prior to its premiere. Amazon must feel confident. Here’s the T R A I L E R for the series which premieres July 26th.
  • Ultraman (Netflix) I loved this series as a kid. A fighter pilot merges with a monster, sort of a Japanese version of Incredible Hulk, but with really really bad monsters, voice dubbing, etc. Premieres April 1st. Interested to see how it’s been re-imagined.
  • Future Man (Hulu) Josh Hutcherson stars as a janitor by day, gamer hero by night who saves the day. Seth Rogen EPs. Just renewed for S3.
  • The Tick (Amazon) S2 of this re-boot now streaming. Series has not been renewed for S3.

  • Magic: The Gathering (Netflix) The Russo Bros. (Avengers) exec produce this adaptation of the popular fantasy card game, which will be animated and feature super heroes with magic.
  • Masters of the Universe: Revelation (Netflix) Kevin Smith is set to EP a new anime series of the well-known Mattel toy line.

N E X T   U P:

When Is Too Much TV Just Too Much?!


About Surfing Hollywood

Steve La Rue is an internationally recognized leader in Film & Television with 20+ years experience as a Development Executive championing such series as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape. He writes, blogs, and consults on All Things Entertainment from his home at the beach in Santa Monica, CA, where he balances his life by surfing every damn day.
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