Outgoing President of ABC Entertainment Channing Dungey confirmed today that Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD has now been confirmed for both a sixth AND seventh season, with both outings believed to be thirteen episode orders. It was revealed earlier in the year that the television show was getting a reduced order for a sixth season and that it would be scheduled for a summer 2019 slot (starting July) where it was likely to run on consecutive weeks, rather than the longer runs it had previously add, but which had already been somewhat divided into pre and post-Christmas runs. It is however a vote of confidence to announce their plans beyond 2019 and onto the seventh run which is presumed to be in the summer of 2020.
It’s also a pragmatic decision on several levels. It comes as the main cast were to be negotiating contracts and so it ties everyone down to agreed availability. It will also allow the production to shoot in what is likely to be an extended block, allowing sets to be kept standing – thus cutting the cost that two separate seasons might incur. Creatively, it might also help with the big-screen outings and the way that the show has had to reflect or ignore certain elements. This past year, the show came to a close just as the events of Infinity War were supposed to be occurring and the fact it won’t be back until after the so-far-untitled Avengers 4 in the Spring (the film is due 3rd May to be exact), means it can avoid addressing the cliffhanger ending to this year’s Thanos encounter. If SHIELD debuts in July as currently planned, it will also be taking place after 8th March’s Captain Marvel and around the time that the tangential SONY/Marvel‘s Spider-man: Far from Home is due (5th July). It isn’t known whether Disney‘s fledgling plans for Loki, Scarlet Witch, Falcon and Winter Soldier on its own streaming platform would be considered completely separate, vaguely connected but not really addressed or done so in passing (as is often the case between different ‘sub-sections’ of Marvel properties) or whether there would be more opportunities for SHIELD to operate across the entire Marvel Universe of shows going forward.
It is noticeable that on the list of regular actors confirmed to be returning – which otherwise seems to be the full, main Season 5 cast – there’s no word of Clark Gregg whose Agent Phil Coulson seemed resigned to early mortality at the end of the last run – the character’s failing health a result of his Avengers and SHIELD adventures. Gregg will appear as Coulson – albeit a slightly younger version – in Captain Marvel alongside a younger Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson). Beyond that – we’ll see.