The logic for killing off Daredevil and the other Netflix Marvel shows—as Disney did with vigor back in 2018 and 2019—was pretty simple to grasp: As the Marvel owner got seriously into both its own plans for a streaming platform, and for Marvel-based series to fill out said streaming platform’s library, the idea of continuing to produce content for their biggest rival got increasingly unpalatable.
And, hey: Maybe they had a point, as Deadline notes that Marvel’s Daredevil had a sudden surge in Nielsen’s streaming numbers a few weeks back, making it (by the polling company’s admittedly sometimes iffy numbers) the eighth-most-popular original streaming show of the holiday week of December 20 through December 26 in the U.S.
That, in what was almost certainly not a coincidence, happens to also be a period of time that saw Disney acknowledge, for basically the first time ever, that the Netflix shows might actually be canonical to the modern-day MCU. December 15 saw Disney+ release the fifth episode of Hawkeye, confirming that a version of Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin was operating in MCU New York. And then, just a few days later, Marvel Studios and Sony released Spider-Man: No Way Home, in which Daredevil star Charlie Cox briefly reprises his role as Matt Murdock, superhero lawyer to the (teenaged superhero) stars.
Both of these cameos/stunts/what have you held back from straight-up confirming that the events of Marvel’s Daredevil are canon—D’Onofrio, especially, seemed to be playing a slightly different register of Wilson Fisk. But it was apparently enough to goose viewership of Daredevil. (Not to the same level Hawkeye was getting, though. The Disney+ series scored 938 million minutes of viewership during the period in question, according to the Nielsen numbers; Daredevil put 195 million minutes on the board.) Fingers crossed that the lesson taken from all of this, then, is not “Let’s never mention this crime-fighting ninja attorney again, lest we make our enemies more powerful” but “Dang, Charlie Cox is still pretty damn fun as Daredevil, huh?”