ABC has announced their 2017-2018 schedule, with Marvel’s Inhumans slotted to air Fridays and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 to debut at the midseason. The Marvel Cinematic Universe first launched on the big screen in 2008 with Iron Man, but expanded to television with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC in 2013 – a loose spinoff from 2012’s The Avengers. The network then gave the green light to a second Marvel TV series in the Captain America: The First Avengers spinoff Agent Carter, though the show was cancelled last spring after two seasons. Although the network has a handful of other Marvel series in the works, only two are set to air in the coming TV season.
The first is Inhumans, the miniseries ABC and Marvel are producing along with IMAX that will debut in IMAX theaters on Labor Day weekend and run for two weeks before premiering on its home network later in September. The second of ABC’s Marvel series is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which is set to wrap up its fourth season tonight. Recently, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was renewed for season 5, and now ABC has announced when fans can expect that to premiere.
As part of ABC’s upfronts presentation, the network revealed their entire schedule for the 2017-2018 season. THR is reporting Inhumans is set to air Fridays at 9pm while Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 is being held for the midseason. ABC confirmed to EW that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 will be a full 22 episodes. THR’s Lesley Goldberg additionally reported on Twitter that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will take over Inhumans‘ Friday 9pm timeslot after the new series’ first season concludes. It’s unclear whether that will happen the week immediately following the Inhumans season finale or at the typical midseason time of January.
The shift of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. from the Fall to midseason may be surprising to fans since the show has debuted its four initial seasons in September, but the schedule change maintains a trend in ABC’s Marvel programming – that the network doesn’t air two Marvel series at the same time. (While still running, Agent Carter aired shorter seasons during Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s midseason break.) Considering Inhumans was locked into its Labor Day IMAX rollout and the late September network premiere, it seems ABC has chosen to hold Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for the midseason so that its two Marvel offerings don’t air at the same time.
Of course, The CW has found success in running multiple comic-based series concurrently with their massive DC TV universe spanning a total of four shows – Arrow, The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl – as well as expanding to include Black Lightning (though it’s unclear as of yet whether the upcoming show will be a part of the Arrowverse). That said, The CW is a younger-skewing network and one that predominantly airs genre TV series while ABC is more adult- and drama-oriented.
Still, while Marvel fans may be disappointed by the long wait for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., they’ll still have a comic-based ABC series to look forward to in Inhumans. Additionally, the extra time to plan and produce Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 may allow for an even more exciting year of television once it does finally debut.
Inhumans hits IMAX screens on Friday, September 1 for two weeks before premiering on ABC on Tuesday, September 26 at 9pm. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 concludes Tuesday, May 16 with ‘World’s End’ at 10pm on ABC.