It was one of the series that was definitely ‘on the bubble’ but ABC has confirmed that Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be returning for the next season, its sixth run on the network and the only collaboration between ABC and Marvel after the failure of The Inhumans.
The show had several pros and cons at play. Its immediate ratings are far from the highest on ABC, but it has a passionate and extensive audience watching it later – through DVR technology etc. It’s also got a international audience, generating money for all concerned and – obviously – strong ties to the Marvel Cinematic Universe which is constantly setting the box-office alight and allows for many a promotional tie-in.
The current run (which finishes this coming Friday) was written with the knowledge that it could be either a season or entire series finale. There has been some speculation by fans as to just how much the series will and can tie-in to Infinity War beyond this finale. With the serious repercussions seen at the end of the movie, it would be unrealistic of a ‘shared’ universe not to see at least some of the characters impacted by that tragedy – but if the series returned before the concluding Avengers film, how would it reflect the possibly retrofitted status-quo?
That has apparently being deftly avoided by the decision to delay airing of the next series until summer 2019 – after the next Avengers film has been released. It can reasonably be assumed that a majority of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans will see the next Avengers film, so even if the current S.H.I.E.L.D. series ends with Infinity War ramifications and deaths, it can start its next tv run, post-resolution.
It is known that series mainstay Clark Gregg (Agent Coulson) will feature in the upcoming Captain Marvel movie – due for a Spring 2019 release – but which is largely set in the 1990s.