Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will "probably" receive a season 5 renewal at ABC for Fall 2017. ABC debuted the first TV offshoot from the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2012 with Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and while the series premiere received record-breaking ratings, the early episodes of season 1 were largely criticized. Then, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. aired its Captain America: The Winter Soldier tie-in, and the show steadily became more well received among critics and fans alike. Now, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is in its fourth season and the show is arguably the strongest it's ever been.
As Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 nears its conclusion and ABC gets closer to making a decision about whether the series will return for another adventure, many have wondered whether season 5 will become a reality. ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said earlier this year that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 4 is its "strongest" creatively, and is hoping to air season 5 alongside the network's upcoming Inhumans miniseries. Now, a new report claims there's a good chance that will come to pass this fall.
EW released a full report detailing the renewal chances of nearly 50 network shows. In the case of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., EW notes the series' declining ratings - which hit a low of 2 million viewers during the season 4 episode 'Wake Up' - but says a season 5 renewal is probable:
With Inhumans coming to television this fall and S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s rating falling hard, it’s easy to suspect Agent Coulson’s division will be shuttered. We’re hearing the team will probably get one more assignment (despite that whole Ghost Rider thing).
Of course, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s shift from 9pm to 10pm for season 4 may have impacted the series' ratings, but many viewers would argue that this year has been one of the show's best from a story standpoint. Season 4 has been split into three distinct "pods" that have told relatively self-contained stories - the first introducing Robbie Reyes aka Ghost Rider (Gabriel Luna), the second following Dr. Holden Radcliffe's Life-Model Decoys, and the third now taking place in a simulated reality called the Framework. With Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Framework storyline posing the question "What if Hydra won?" it has given the show a chance to explore an entirely different side of the MCU as well as an opportunity to bring back fan-favorite characters.
That said, there may be some Marvel fans who prefer Marvel TV's other offerings - namely, Netflix's street-level corner of the MCU made up of the various The Defenders shows - or who are more looking forward to upcoming series like Inhumans. Certainly, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. doesn't necessarily receive as much critical attention at Netflix's Marvel shows, but it has a dedicated following. Plus, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. - more than any other show or movie in the MCU - offers entertaining connections to other Marvel properties while telling a story on its own.
Still, whether Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. receives a season 5 renewal remains to be seen. Although it appears Dungey and ABC are leaning toward bringing the agents back for another adventure, early reports for the Marvel's Most Wanted TV pilot indicated it would be picked up to series, but that ended up not being the case. So, fans will have to wait for an official decision from ABC either way on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continues Tuesday April 18 with ‘No Regrets’ at 10pm on ABC.