Turns out Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans have a guardian mouse looking out for them.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was the first television show to be set in the MCU, which garnered a lot of hype at the time. But a rocky start to its first season led to bad reviews and negative fan reception. The show, which vastly improved, has struggled in the ratings ever since and sat on the edge of cancellation for the past two seasons. Ratings maintained stability during its fourth season, but fans weren’t sure if it would make it until the renewal announcement hit. As it turns out, Disney executives have more to do with SHIELD reaching a fifth season than ABC itself does.
According to Variety, execs at ABC weren’t enthusiastic about giving the show a fifth season, seeing as syndication was likely a big reason it was even renewed for a fourth. But the higher-ups at Disney told the network to keep it.
Earlier this year, the mandate came down from Disney for ABC to renew its other Marvel drama, “Agents of SHIELD,” despite the desire by some at the network to end the series after four seasons.
Just why Agents of SHIELD is valuable enough for intervention is up for debate. It might be just to keep a Marvel presence on the network. Inhumans isn’t tracking too well, Agent Carter was canceled, and potential spin-off Most Wanted wasn’t picked up. If SHIELD was canceled and Inhumans bombed, the channel might lose the entire audience of Marvel fans. Or it could be the people at Marvel Television have some sorts of plans for it that Disney considers important on a franchise scale. Or just maybe some kind-hearted suit watches the show themselves and recognizes just how insanely good it is. Whatever the reason, we’re thankful SHIELD is still around.
Agents of SHIELD will return during winter following Inhumans. The entire 22-episode season will run without breaks in its new timeslot of Friday nights.