ABC boss Channing Dungey is "cautiously optimistic" Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be renewed for season 6, but no official decision has been made. In 2013, Marvel Studios expanded their Marvel Cinematic Universe in a big way by launching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on ABC - ultimately kicking off the TV side of the MCU that has since grown exponentially. Now in season 5, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has had its ups and downs over the years, though since the show's Captain America: The Winter Soldier tie-in episode in season 1, longtime viewers would argue it's largely improved in quality.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 has sent Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) and his team to the future, where they've been trapped on a space station with the remaining members of the human race and subjugated by the Kree overlord Kasius. Last week's episode, 'Fun & Games', marked a number of major changes for the agents, as well Gregg's first time directing on the series. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is also set to air its 100th episode in March, and fans may argue it couldn't come at a better time since season 5 of the Marvel show may just be its best yet. It seems those at ABC have taken notice as well, since the network's president is optimistic Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be renewed for a sixth season this spring.
Speaking to EW at the Television Critics Association's winter press tour, ABC president Channing Dungey revealed she has high hopes for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returning for another season. However, the show's renewal also depends on what programs the network develops for the 2018-2019 season. Dungey said:
I would say I’m cautiously optimistic. It’s always hard at this point in January to know because some of it is also dependent on your new development and how you feel about those things, so that’s why it’s really hard at the top of the year to know exactly what’s going to happen.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s chances of renewal have been a point of speculation for a number of years, and last spring it seemed unlikely the show would return for a fifth season. However, ABC did renew the Marvel TV series, though it was reported Disney stepped in on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s behalf. As a result, many have wondered if season 5 would be the show's final season since it seems unlikely Disney would step in twice. But, with Inhumans unlikely to be renewed for season 2, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. would be the only Marvel TV series on ABC - and the network may want to keep at least one superhero show going.
That being said, Dungey did mention the caveat that an Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. renewal is dependant on what the network develops for the coming Fall 2018 season. If ABC has a number of new shows being added to the lineup that they're more confident in than Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the Marvel show may be cancelled - especially if one of the new shows is another Marvel project. Damage Control and a series from John Ridley have long been in development at ABC, not to mention Marvel TV's New Warriors is still without a home after it departed Freeform.
So, fans of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can take heart in Dungey's optimism about the show's renewal chances, but it still depends on a number of factors that remain in flux as of now. Once ABC starts to announce their pilots, and develop their schedule for the 2018-2019 season, we'll have a better idea of what S.H.I.E.L.D.'s chances truly are.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 5 continues next Friday with ‘Together or Not At All’ at 9pm on ABC.