but Marvel vows it won’t be the end for The Defenders

For a few brief seasons there were five super hero TV series on Netflix that fans fawned over (for the most part) and one series where they all came together – The Defenders. Alas, changing realities in the direct-to-consumer home streaming market have placed the ambitions of Netflix and Disney at odds and now the last two remaining series (The Punisher and Jessica Jones) have also been canceled.

Season 2 of The Punisher and Season 3 of Jessica Jones will still air on Netflix, but that will mark the end of the partnership between Marvel and Netflix that started in 2013. Previously canceled were Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Daredevil. It was a good five years.

In a statement, Netflix said:

Marvel’s The Punisher will not return for a third season on Netflix. Showrunner Steve Lightfoot, the terrific crew, and exceptional cast including star Jon Bernthal, delivered an acclaimed and compelling series for fans, and we are proud to showcase their work on Netflix for years to come.

In addition, in reviewing our Marvel programming, we have decided that the upcoming third season will also be the final season for Marvel’s Jessica Jones . We are grateful to showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, star Krysten Ritter and the entire cast and crew, for three incredible seasons of this groundbreaking series, which was recognized by the Peabody Awards among many others. We are grateful to Marvel for five years of our fruitful partnership and thank the passionate fans who have followed these series from the beginning.

Disney and Marvel TV recently announced that a series of four animated Marvel TV shows will be debuting on Hulu, which will be majority owned by Disney after it completes its purchase of 21st Century Fox. There have also been hints that this won’t be the last we see of the Marvel super heroes that once lived on Netflix.

Marvel TV chief Jeph Loeb wrote a somewhat vague but thankful and optimistic letter to the show’s fans.

On behalf of everyone at Marvel Television, we couldn’t be more proud or more grateful to our audience. Our Network partner may have decided they no longer want to continue telling the tales of these great characters… but you know Marvel better than that. As Matthew Murdock’s Dad once said, “The measure of a man is not how he gets knocked to the mat, it’s how he gets back up.”

To be continued…!

I don’t know about you, but I take that as a good sign we’ll see the characters again either in a movie or on TV, most likely on new shows on Hulu.

We still haven’t finished watching all the existing shows on Netflix, but we plan to catch up soon. If you’re a little behind, or just getting started, Netflix had hinted that the stories will live on on their service for a while.

Do you have a favorite Marvel show on Netflix? Which do you hope get picked up by Disney to live on in a few series or movie?

(hat tip to Deadline for breaking this news)