Agents of SHIELD Renewed for Sixth Season - With a Caveat

ABC has renewed Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a sixth season.

According to TVLine, Season 6 will air during the 2018-19 season with 13 episodes, down from its usual 22 episode count. At the time of writing, it is unclear if this will be the final season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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This week, the show heads into its Season 5 finale, which pits Phil Coulson and his team against insurmountable odds. They will face off with the powerful Graviton, who is destined to tear the Earth apart in his quest for more gravitonium. In February, executive producer Jed Whedon revealed the episode had been written as a series ender, in the event the show wasn't renewed: “Yeah, we’re ready for if this is the end. We’re definitely going to make it rewarding either way.”

Just last week, ABC cancelled Inhumans, the network's other Marvel series. Like Inhumans, S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn’t been a hit in the ratings. In fact, after debuting to nearly twelve million viewers, S.H.I.E.L.D. has since found itself struggling to maintain 3 million live viewers over its past few seasons. However, while it isn’t a great performer in the live ratings, the show tends to do well in delayed viewership.

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During S.H.I.E.L.D.'s panel at WonderCon, Whedon also teased that Marvel's latest film Avengers: Infinity War would "open up a whole new playground" for the show. “The thing that we love about what our show has become is, the movies sort of blaze a path. Doctor Strange introduced magic, all of a sudden we could have Ghost Rider on our show. We’re just waiting for that movie to come out, so it can open up a whole new playground for us.” Now, it seems the series will have the opportunity to explore Infinity War's fallout in Season 6.

Airing Fridays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 5 stars Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Henry Simmons, Ian De Caestecker, Natalia Cordova-Buckley and Elizabeth Henstridge.

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