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Marvel’s “The Punisher” being adapted as TV show

Marvel’s “The Punisher” being adapted as TV show (photo)

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Movie-going audiences did not respond very well to big screen adaptations of “The Punisher,” so now Fox is planning on sending everyone’s favorite NYC detective-turned-merciless-vigilante to the small screen with a new live-action series. has learned that the studio is planning a TV show from showrunner Ed Bernero, best known for his work on “Third Watch” and “Criminal Minds.” “The Punisher” already has been given a pilot commitment with a penalty if it doesn’t end up airing.

Small-screen live-action superhero adaptations haven’t done especially well in the past few years. The most recent example was the ill-fated “Wonder Woman” show starring Adrianne Padalecki, which didn’t even make it to TV despite its heavily publicized shooting process. NBC’s original superhero property “The Cape” barely made it through its first season, and was cut from 13 episodes to 10 with the finale only being aired on NBC’s website.

Arguably the best comic book adaptation to air on television in recent years was another NBC original property: “Heroes.” The show ran for four seasons, but the critical reception dropped off after the acclaimed first season. The main struggle “Heroes” had was with the pressure to reinvent itself every season, which ended up being its downfall. It was canceled in 2010 with a 19 episode season, though the series still lives on in comic book form.

It will be interesting to see what approach Fox takes to “The Punisher” to make it survive better than some of its counterparts. One of the longest running comic book shows on television is the CW’s “Smallville” (now in its 10th and final season), though that show has likely survived so long because of the CW’s tendency to attract cult audiences. “Smallville” sticks close to the Superman mythology while also using storylines that aren’t often seen in its animated or big screen counterparts, and thus keeps its audience interested.

But Superman has always done well on the big screen — even 2006’s “Superman Returns” made $200 million domestically — and is one of the most well-known superheroes of all time, whereas both “The Punisher” films (2004 and 2008) were box office disappointments and he is not as well known in the Marvel universe as Spider-Man and the X-Men are. Maybe if Fox and Bernero choose to go the crime-fighting route instead of the comic book route with the show and make it more similar to Bernero’s hit “Criminal Minds,” it will have a longer lifetime than some of its superhero predecessors.

Would you be interested in watching a “The Punisher” TV series? Let us know in the comments section below or on Facebook and Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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