ABC has made it official far earlier than we expected them to: Agents of SHIELD is going to have a season 7! The network confirmed this news today, noting that like the sixth season (premiering next summer), this is going to run for 13 episodes. Odds are, the seventh season will probably premiere in the summer of 2020, but it’s too early to confirm that given that plans can easily change.
Is this renewal surprising on some level, given the unimpressive live ratings that Agents of SHIELD tends to generate? Sure, but there are some mitigating factors here. For one, ABC and Marvel are both owned by Disney, and we continue to believe strongly that the comic-book company and ABC want to continue to do business together. Also, season 5 of the series aired on Friday nights, which is hardly the best night for live TV, and it generate some fairly-strong DVR ratings across the board. There’s also a sweet deal with Netflix here that helps to ensure that episodes get delivered in a timely fashion to the streaming service after the fact.
Maybe the live ratings will increase with season 6 next summer; even if they don’t, ABC seems to be set up well with the infrastructure that they have put into place.
Here is where we feel things start to get a little bit more interesting. Per TVLine, the release for the renewal lists Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Henry Simmons, Natalia Cordova-Buckley and Jeff Ward as the official cast. There’s one key name missing from the group here in Clark Gregg, who we know is directing in season 6 and that’s about it. All signs at the end of season 5 pointed towards Phil Coulson being near the end of his life, but given that the man has cheated death before, he could certainly find a way to do so again!
From our vantage point, there’s no real reason to think about Gregg’s absence from the release as a serious sign of anything. Instead, our sentiment on it is more ABC covering their tracks. They know how much people scrutinize everything with a show like this and by omitting him from the list, they enable themselves to still have some sort of element of surprise moving forward. They’re allowing themselves that opportunity. It is hard to imagine Agents of SHIELD being the same show that it’s been without Coulson, though we do also recognize that there is an awesome cast from top to bottom here. We have faith in the writers, who have been able to make Agents of SHIELD one of the strongest superhero shows on TV. We just wish that it was from the start rather than taking its time to get there, largely because the ratings likely would be better now.
What do you think about the Agents of SHIELD season 7 renewal, and do you think that Clark Gregg will continue to be a part of the series? Share right now in the attached comments! (Photo: ABC.)