Marvel"s Most-Watched New Show Of 2024 (So Far) Isn"t What I Expected

  • Echo is the most-watched MCU TV show of 2024 so far, surpassing X-Men '97 and Loki season 2 in viewer numbers.
  • Marvel's decision to focus on established franchises may limit future projects like Echo, starring a relatively unknown character.
  • Despite changes to Disney's Marvel release plan, the MCU's TV division remains strong with positive word of mouth for future projects.
New data detailing the most watched Disney+ original TV series is out, and the top-ranked Marvel project isn't what I thought it would be. Though July's Deadpool & Wolverine is the only MCU movie slated for release in 2024, the TV side of the franchise has remained active from late 2023 to the present and seems set to continue through the year. Last fall kicked off with Loki season 2 from October through early November, and then What If...? season 2 put out one episode a day from December 22 through the end of the calendar year.
2024 hasn't been a slouch either, with January welcoming the debut season of Echo and X-Men '97 following in the spring. Now, viewership data paints a picture of which original projects are performing the best on Disney+ this year. Though X-Men '97 is pulling in well-deserved praise, a different MCU TV show is currently the Marvel streaming show to beat.
Related Every MCU TV Show Ranked Worst To Best From WandaVision to She-Hulk, from Loki to Ms. Marvel, the MCU"s Disney+ TV shows have been hits - but how do they all compare to one another?
Echo Is The Most-Watched MCU TV Show Of 2024 So Far Close Top 10 Disney+ Original TV Shows
Percentage Of Total 2024 Viewership
Percy Jackson and the Olympians S1
Echo S1
X-Men '97 S1
Star Wars: The Bad Batch S3
Renegade Nell S1
Ahsoka S1
The Mandalorian S3
Loki S2
The Mandalorian S1
A Real Bug's Life
The 2024 Disney+ viewership data, presented via Variety, contains only Disney+ original programming. Ten programs with a high enough percentage of total viewership earn their own slice of a pie graph, plus a vague "other" block worth 1/3 of all viewing hours. While the new Percy Jackson and the Olympians show takes the top spot, Echo comes in at 2, X-Men '97 at 3, and Loki season 2 at 8. While there's no doubt that Echo is an entertaining show worthy of this accolade, it is a bit of a surprise to see it top X-Men '97 and some of 2023's later offerings.
Related Echo Review: MCU's First 2024 Show Feels Like A Grand Return To Marvel TV's Netflix Era Marvel"s Echo starts off slow, playing catchup for new viewers, but quickly ramps up into one of Disney+"s most thrilling MCU offerings.
Timing is, of course, something. Echo has been out in full since January, meaning this data includes initial viewership and the months after X-Men '97 is currently mid-season, with a finale coming on May 15. Regardless, social media discourse and pop-culture buzz seem strongly skewed in X-Men's favor. To that end, it wouldn't have been a surprise to see Loki keep some legs and rank a bit higher given its incredible word of mouth. However, despite initial concerns about a relatively unknown lead character, Echo is clearly a hit for Marvel Studios.
MCU Viewership Data Paints A Mixed Picture For Disney's New Marvel Release Plan Close It's great to see Echo performing well on Disney+, but its position atop the MCU pack is a bit bittersweet given changes to how Disney will be releasing Marvel content moving forward. Given the MCU's recent box office struggles, it came as no surprise that Disney CEO Bob Iger announced output would be slowing and a renewed focus would put emphasis on sequels and franchises. More recently, Iger specified that the MCU would be limited to 2-3 movies and 2 TV shows per year. In a vacuum, all of this seems perfectly reasonable. However, it does make the odds of getting more content like Echo seem smaller.
Related Every MCU TV Show Ranked Worst To Best From WandaVision to She-Hulk, from Loki to Ms. Marvel, the MCU"s Disney+ TV shows have been hits - but how do they all compare to one another?
MCU TV shows may have come out too quickly at first, but a focus on established franchises and characters means that Echo, starring a relatively unknown character only having appeared in a few episodes of Hawkeye in live-action, probably wouldn't happen moving forward. While X-Men '97 and Loki smartly took advantage of built-in character and brand popularity to earn fans (and then keep them with excellent writing), Echo had to build success up from almost nothing. These types of projects may be financial risks, but it's disappointing to likely lose the potential for sleeper hits from unexpected characters.
What To Expect From The Rest Of The MCU's 2024 On The Small Screen While Echo and X-men '97 have filled out the first half of the MCU's 2024, they aren't the only programs dropping this year. However, only one upcoming show has a solidified release date - the animated and non-MCU-canon Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man, which is dropping on November 2, 2024. However, another animated series (that is indeed MCU canon), Eyes of Wakanda, will hit screens at an undisclosed date in 2024. Agatha, which has undergone several retitlings, has yet to get a solid release window, but expectations are that it'll drop sometime in the fall of this year.
Beyond that, things get a little fuzzier. Wonder Man was filmed in 2023 and early 2024, though it's not expected to be released until 2025. Ironheart, starring Black Panther: Wakanda Forever's tech-wiz Riri Williams, was filmed in full back in 2022 but has been lacking meaningful updates since. It's possible the show could finally see light sometime in late 2024, though 2025 also isn't out of the question.
Regardless, even with an output slowdown, the MCU's TV division is going strong. With a few hits in a row, positive word of mouth should help future projects wash away some earlier, more divisive projects. Moreover, Echo's high viewership numbers moving into mid-year may bode well for the character's future. While it's unknown if a true Echo season 2 is in the cards, Maya Lopez seems primed to be a major player in the MCU's future street-level projects.
Marvel's Echo Where to Watch *Availability in US
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Cast Chaske Spencer , Zahn McClarnon , Graham Greene , Alaqua Cox , Cody Lightning , Charlie Cox , Tantoo Cardinal , Devery Jacobs , Vincent D'Onofrio Release Date January 9, 2024 Seasons 1 Writers Amy Rardin , Marion Dayre Streaming Service(s) Disney+ , Hulu Upcoming MCU Movies
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