Marvel Studios Beat to Their Shared TV Universe By...Parenthood?

While the second Marvel Studios TV series Agent Carter isn't yet official, NBC announced today [...]


While the second Marvel Studios TV series Agent Carter isn't yet official, NBC announced today that their forthcoming sitcom About a Boy, based on the novel by Nick Hornby, will share a world with veteran sitcom Parenthood. Both Parenthood and About a Boy have had big-screen iterations--Parenthood's in 1989 with Steve Martin and Keanu Reeves, while About a Boy came in 2002 and starred Hugh Grant and X-Men: Days of Future Past's Nicholas Hoult. Reports Deadline, "A few hours after Chicago PD creator Dick Wolf teased that show's upcoming crossovers with Chicago Fire and Law & Order: SVU, About A Boy EP Jason Katims revealed today at TCA that the new half-hour comedy does indeed exist in the same TV universe as his other San Francisco-set show, Parenthood." That's at the same time we're getting a Breaking Bad spinoff titled Better Call Saul and a How I Met Your Mother follow-up titled How I Met Your Dad. The Walking Dead will get a companion series in 2015, but not until after Arrow spawns Flash in the fall.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. cast

Last year, it was a big deal that Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was blazing trails, crossing over between Marvel's massively-successful movie universe and the small screen. Interconnected comic book movies are cropping up from Marvel Studios, Warner Bros./DC Entertainment, Sony and Fox while The Terminator plans to follow Marvel's lead and have both TV and film taking place at the same time. Those are all big, tentpole franchises though which will market themselves primarily on the strength of the brand. With Parenthood and About a Boy crossing over, it will be more akin to the "Tommy Westphall Universe," which comic book writer Dwayne McDuffie speculated connects St. Elsewhere to Homicide: Life on the Streets, The X-Files, the Law & Order franchise, Luther and more. One character key in tying many of those series together is Detective John Munch who, interestingly enough, has a father who appeared in League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: End of the Century. Those shows, while interconnected, don't have any particular concern for a shared continuity--but it allows for crossovers and cameos, like the one producers say to expect on About a Boy. "It turns out Will also has his own poker game so Dax Shepard will be making an appearance as Crosby Braverman on About A Boy," said Katims. David Walton's Will, the lead character on About a Boy, appeared on the most recent episode of Parenthood.