If you were getting worried that ABC was beginning to lose their motivation to keep their fan-favourite Marvel drama series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. going for much longer, then you can officially rest easy! Word has come down from official source, Deadline that ABC has already given Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. a 13-episode seventh season order, despite its sixth season having not even started yet! Season Six of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is not scheduled to begin airing until some point during Summer 2019, after it moved off of ABC’s regular season schedule as of this Fall.
Obviously, with Season Six of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. still being in the pipeline, and not due to premiere until well into next year, we have no details as to which direction Season Seven will take the series. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has become very proficient with re-inventing itself every season though, so it’s likely that the show’s seventh season will be quite different from the in-development sixth season. One change we can already anticipate for next year’s sixth season is that former series lead, Clark Gregg will not be returning as famously-resurrected S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, Phil Coulson however, though Gregg has pledged to continue directing certain episodes of the series in Season Six. That said, Gregg will still be reprising the role of Coulson on film early next year, when a younger version of Coulson appears in next March’s 1990’s-set Marvel Studios movie, Captain Marvel.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is an hour-long drama series that takes place within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, sharing continuity with Marvel Studios’ movie catalogue, and Marvel’s other in-house live-action shows that are distributed on platforms such as Netflix, Hulu and Freeform. The series initially debuted to heavy viewership in 2013, though mixed reception to the first season by critics and fans eventually led to viewers diminishing to a modest cult audience. In more recent seasons however, that devout cult audience has held steady, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has since gone on to become one of the best-received dramas on ABC by both critics and fans.
While it initially seemed like a warning sign when Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was no longer part of ABC’s regular season lineup after its fifth season concluded during this past Summer, the very early seventh season renewal stands as proof positive that ABC has no intention of cancelling the show for the foreseeable future, ratings be damned. The move to Summer is likely a narrative choice to some extent as well, since Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. keeps pace with current ongoing events in Marvel Studios’ movies. Thus, given the universe-altering fallout of this past May’s Avengers: Infinity War, Season Six beginning next Summer, presumably after next year’s still-untitled fourth Avengers movie likely resolves the aftermath of Avengers: Infinity War to some extent, prevents Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from stepping on the toes of the MCU’s movie arm, and Marvel Studios’ own plans for what’s next after Thanos’ invasion of Earth, while also preventing the show’s storytelling from being forced into a corner, since any attempted Season Six plotline would have had to accommodate the massive ongoing crisis left in the wake of Thanos.
The very early Season Seven renewal for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also helps to compensate for Marvel Television having lost two of the MCU’s high-profile shows recently, after Netflix cancelled both Iron Fist and Luke Cage following two seasons apiece just a short while ago. Netflix still plans to deliver new seasons of Jessica Jones and The Punisher in 2019 however, while the highly successful third season of Daredevil that premiered on Netflix last month also leaves that series very unlikely to meet the axe. Fortunately, Disney soon acquiring majority ownership of Hulu, following the Disney-Fox merger that’s set to complete on January 1st, should leave that platform’s well-received MCU drama series, Runaways nice and safe after its second season releases in its entirety during this December, plus ABC subsidiary, Freeform remains set to start airing a second season for the also-acclaimed Cloak & Dagger at some point in 2019 as well. Outside of the MCU, Marvel Television also helps to oversee two X-Men universe-inspired drama shows for Fox, with the second season of The Gifted currently airing on the FOX network, while a third season for FX series, Legion is set to air in 2019. After the Disney-Fox merger’s completion on New Years Day 2019 however, the future prospects of both of these shows remains very much a mystery, especially since Disney has already announced plans to reboot the X-Men franchise characters for the MCU after the merger is finalized.
Keep assembling to Eggplante for major news and updates on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and other Marvel Television shows.