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Television Q&A: Why is Netflix canceling its Marvel shows?

Rich Heldenfels, Tribune News Service on

Published in Entertainment News

You have questions. I have some answers.

Q: Why is Netflix canceling its Marvel shows? First "Iron First," then "Luke Cage," now "Daredevil." Except for "Fist" I thought they were very successful. Now only "Jessica Jones" and "The Punisher" remain. What's going on? Any truth to the idea that they all going to wind up on an independent Marvel streaming service?

A: First of all, Disney is setting up its own streaming service, to be called Disney+, as the online home for the company's vast properties. Arriving in late 2019, its new offerings will include productions from the "Star Wars" family and the Marvel universe. For example, the company plans a series about Loki, Thor's half-brother, with Tom Hiddleston reprising his Loki role from the Marvel movies. (I have no idea where this fits with the events in "Avengers: Infinity War" or the new Avengers movie due in spring 2019, before Disney+ begins.)

But the fate of the cancelled Netflix series does not necessarily involve Disney's streaming plans. Deadline.com reported on conflicts that included changes in showrunners on some of the Marvel/Netflix shows, debates over how many episodes should be in a season, the cost of the shows and Netflix's greater pursuit of shows it can own. It did not own the Marvel properties, but is now, according to Deadline, "awash in new series and returning series that it holds the keys to."

In addition, Rolling Stone TV critic Alan Sepinwall has pointed to conflicts within Marvel, where the people running the movie side "do not like or get along with the Marvel TV execs," and the movie guys are doing the series for Disney+. The canceled series as they existed on Netflix may be done -- while, this being Marvel, the characters themselves could reappear somewhere else in the universe. Netflix even hinted at that in a statement to Deadline about "Daredevil," saying it will have the "Daredevil" reruns for years to come, and the character will live on in future Marvel projects. But it did not say where those projects would be.

Q: Is Sara Gilbert related to Melissa Gilbert? I'm also wondering if Tracey Gold is related to Missy Gold.

A: "The Conners" star Sara Gilbert and former "Little House on the Prairie" star Melissa Gilbert are sisters. Tracey Gold ("Growing Pains") and Missy Gold ("Benson") are also sisters.

The next question has a spoiler if you're planning to watch "Mayans" but haven't yet.

Q: On "Mayans M.C." there was an episode in which Coco kills his mom. Can you tell me more about the actress who played the mom? One hated the character but the actress is awesome, fierce and commands a presence.

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A: That was Ada Luz Pla (also known as Ada Luz Pla-Willams) playing Celia, the mother of Coco (Richard Cabral) on the FX drama. You may have seen her in several episodes of "Jane the Virgin" as well as movies such as "Wheels," "Shrink," "Canal Street," "Restored Me" and "Den of Darkness." She is also a writer and producer.

Q: I am trying to remember an episode from an old TV show. It concerned God speaking over the radio. Every few days God would give a short message. I thought for sure that it was a "Twilight Zone" episode, but I did not see it in its list of episodes.

A: There is a "Twilight Zone" episode called "Static," where a radio is a key element. But if you are thinking of a radio carrying messages from God, you are probably remembering "The Next Voice You Hear," a 1950 movie in which people hear the voice of God on the radio. That film starred James Whitmore and Nancy Davis, who would become better known under a different name following her 1952 marriage to Ronald Reagan.

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(Do you have a question or comment about entertainment past, present and future? Write to Rich Heldenfels, P.O. Box 417, Mogadore, OH 44260, or brenfels@gmail.com. Letters may be edited. Individual replies are not guaranteed.)

(c)2018 Tribune Content Agency, LLC

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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