ABC has renewed Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a seventh season.
While that will come as welcome news to fans of the series, whose fate was anything but certain, it's noteworthy that Clark Gregg isn't listed in the announcement among the returning cast. The news arrives months before the expected summer 2019 premiere of Season 6.
Gregg's fan-favorite character, Phil Coulson, learned in the fifth season that he's dying, and stepped down as director of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's globe-spanning espionage agency, and settled in Tahiti. It was widely theorized that Coulson would then spend much of the sixth season of the sidelines, but this cast listing may suggest Gregg's departure from the series he has headlined since its 2013 debut.
Deadline suggests that, like Season 6, the seventh season will be just 13 episodes, although there's been no indication of that from ABC or Marvel Television. The outlet further speculates the timing of the renewal announcement may be tied to the cast's options, and a reduced episode order would permit the two seasons to be filmed back to back, thus reducing costs.
Fans had worried that shuffling Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to summer signaled the drama's days were numbered, but ABC maintained that the move is intended to help broaden the audience.
The seventh season of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. stars Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Henry Simmons, Natalia Cordova-Buckley and Jeff Ward. No premiere date has been announced.