While watching and commenting on a screening of X-Men: The Last Stand tonight via Twitter, Cougar Town Executive Producer Kevin Biegel tweeted a particular thought so rife with potential that it just seems worth mentioning:
“Make a Multiple Man private eye ABC show based on that great run of comics, Joss Whedon. Please?”
The run he’s talking about, of course, began with Madrox #1, a miniseries that revolved around Multiple Man having retired the superhero identity in order to focus on a new life as a detective. By the end of the five-issue miniseries, his detective agency has taken a bit of a turn and evolves into X-Factor, albeit in a decidedly less traditionally-superheroic form for a while.
And Whedon, of course, is responsible for helping ABC to develop a Marvel Universe TV series that ties into the cinematic world of The Avengers. Rumors have had it that the series will more likely than not take the form of a police procedural or detective series, with superheroes existing more on the fringes than at the heart of the show.
Whedon may do well to listen; Biegel, who co-created Cougar Town with Scrubs and Spin City creator Bill Lawrence, knows a little something about selling ABC. He was aboard Scrubs when the show jumped ship from NBC and then successfully kept the fan-favorite Cougar Town up and running at the network for three years before the recent announcement that the producers would be taking the series to TBS. The show gets good reviews and Abed from Community loves it, but it was rumored to be on the bubble more or less constantly over the last couple of years, meaning that Lawrence and Biegel likely had their share of conversations with the network brass.
Plus, if you keep it to Madrox at least for the first little while, it could keep a Marvel Universe series pretty inexpensive (his powers aren’t that difficult or expensive to reproduce, leaving you essentially with a cop show where the bad guys might have powers). The real question, of course, becomes whether the TV rights are sewn up along the the film rights to the X-Men Universe and therefore in the hands of Fox rather than ABC. Obviously the animation rights are not included in the film deals, but live action TV may be an entirely other conversation.