Adding to the problems facing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the news that Marvel Studios is expanding its reach into its own television programming focused on fan-favorite characters like Loki and Scarlet Witch with more series in the works, the expansion effectively makes series like Agents of SHIELD obsolete. Sure, viewers can continue to follow the new adventures of characters like Daisy Johnson and Melinda May but any pretensions regarding the series' connections to the larger MCU and its direct impact on the show's narrative have been abandoned long ago.
Series like Hulu's Runaways and Netflix's Luke Cage have always existed more on the fringes of the MCU, with a greater degree of autonomy and only the occasional passing reference to the events of the films; usually presented more as Easter eggs than essential plot elements. From its initial marketing, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was promoted as the series that would use its season-long runtime to tour the shared cinematic universe and show the wider impact of concurrently released MCU films. After largely abandoning that mission statement following the conclusion of its second season, the arrival of new, bigger series directly produced by Marvel Studios may very well serve as the definitive nail in the coffin for the ABC series, with the planned programming more firmly set in the MCU than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ever was.
It was Phil Coulson's death at the hands of Loki that served as the springboard for Marvel Television five years ago. Now, in a twist of irony, with the God of Mischief returning for his own live-action series, it could be Loki's televised return that signals the ultimate end of the popular S.H.I.E.L.D. agent and his friends.
Returning in summer 2019 on ABC for its sixth season, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stars Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Henry Simmons, Ian De Caestecker, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, and Elizabeth Henstridge.