After days of confusion regarding the upcoming fifth season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., more concrete information has finally arrived. For months, ABC has been quiet on whether or not S.H.I.E.L.D. would be getting another season. While the show’s ratings have never been stellar, it’s always done as well or better than similar series on other networks. Its core fanbase is also a dedicated one, and the stories laid out this season have plenty of room to grow. As such, the announcement last week of the show’s renewal was met with excitement from fans – but it soon turned into confusion.

Earlier this week, ABC hosted their upfronts where it was revealed that while S.H.I.E.L.D. would be getting a full 22-episode order, the show wouldn’t be premiering in the fall. Instead, Inhumans was announced to be taking over SHIELD‘s spot, with the latter moving back to 9 pm and jumping to Fridays at some point after the former wrapped up its 8-episode run. From there, speculation began on whether S.H.I.E.L.D. would debut at the end of this year or wait until next year and have a straight run of its entire season. Now, it looks like the latter will be the case.

Mark Kolpack, the visual effects supervisor for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., has confirmed that the show won’t premiere until January of 2018. While that means fans will have to wait longer to solve the mystery of where Coulson is, it also means the spring of 2018 may include 22 straight episodes of S.H.I.E.L.D. with no breaks or hiatuses.

Kolpack is almost certainly right about the lack of breaks. Generally, the 22 episodes of the series are spread out over the fall and spring, with several weeks off and even a lengthy hiatus; this year featured six weeks off in the spring, while the two previous seasons didn’t come back from winter break until March due to the placement of Agent Carter. Now, it looks like spring of 2018 will be packed with S.H.I.E.L.D..

Even if the show premieres on the first Friday in January, the 5th, it would still have to go until June 1st to manage 22 episodes without a single break. That puts it a full two weeks past the time the finale for the season usually airs and well past the end of the traditional spring season. For Marvel fans, of course, it means almost a full TV year of network series, and a nonstop block of S.H.I.E.L.D. in the spring of 2018.

Considering the way this week’s finale unfolded, the show certainly has a lot to explore next year. From the return of Ghost Rider to Coulson’s new job, there’s no shortage of avenues the series could go down. And while we’ll have to wait a bit longer than usual to see what happens next, the ride looks to be an exciting and relentless one.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 will air in January 2018 on ABC.

Next: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Ghost Rider’s Return Explained

Source: Mark Kolpack

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