Is 'Jessica Jones' a big risk for Netflix?
'Jones' stars Krysten Ritter and is based on the Marvel comic book character of the same name. The new series comes after Netflix's first Marvel show, 'Daredevil,' which debuted this past spring.
We now know when Netflix viewers will see the streaming service’s newest comic book show.
Following the premiere of last spring’s “Daredevil,” which follows the Marvel superhero of the same name, the show “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” debuts this November. The show stars Krysten Ritter as Jessica, who in Marvel lore has superstrength and can fly, among other abilities. In the comic books, Jessica creates a detective agency known as Alias Private Investigations.
The show co-stars “Broadchurch” actor David Tennant as well as Carrie-Anne Moss and Mike Colter.
Since the show comes from Marvel comic books, Jessica lives in the same fictional universe as Iron Man, Captain America, and Daredevil, with whom she shares a streaming home.
Marvel is currently dominating the multiplex and making inroads on TV via multiple platforms. The company, which releases films as Marvel Studios, has recently released some of the highest-grossing films of the years in which they came out, including 2014’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” 2013’s “Iron Man 3,” and 2012’s “The Avengers.”
Prior to its Netflix deal, Marvel was already a presence on ABC, where the show “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” debuted in 2013. Another show set in their universe, “Agent Carter,” premiered earlier this year.
“Jessica” is part of a larger plan by Netflix. The streaming service debuted “Daredevil,” which stars Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio, this past spring and it was fairly well-received by critics. But prior to its debut, Netflix announced it was making four shows with Marvel: “Daredevil,” “Jessica,” and the two programs “Luke Cage” and “Iron Fist.” After they each air, Netflix will air a miniseries titled “The Defenders.” In comic books, various superheroes have joined a group by that name, but Luke Cage, Daredevil, and Iron Fist were all members at one time.
How big a risk is Netflix taking? Planning four shows at a time is obviously a daring move – you have no idea how the first one will be received. “Daredevil” was well-received by viewers, but Netflix is different than network TV in how a success or failure is perceived. Because the company doesn’t release viewership numbers, the public doesn’t know how popular “Daredevil is.” We know if a show like “Agent Carter” is doing well in terms of viewers (the ratings are okay); we have no official measurement from Netflix.
Netflix does run the risk that viewers will have Marvel fatigue, with so many different projects seeking viewers’ attention. But if future series like “Jessica” get good reviews like "Daredevil" and are satisfying creatively for audiences, the gamble could pay off.