ABC reschedules season six of 'Marvel's Agents of SHIELD' for a summer 2019 release

ABC has pushed back the premiere of season six of 'Agents of SHIELD' to possibly accommodate the release of the fourth and final Avengers movie

                            ABC reschedules season six of 'Marvel's Agents of SHIELD' for a summer 2019 release
Marvel's Agents of SHIELD poster (Source : ABC official website)

Despite concerns that it would be axed by ABC, Marvel's 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D' was renewed for a shortened 13-episode sixth season this past week by the network. The initial suggestion was that season 6 would air in mid-2019, but tvline now reports that the series will not premiere until summer 2019. 

The announcement was made by ABC president Channing Dungey on Tuesday during an Upfronts Week press call and in response to rumors and suggestions that the show had been moved because of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's impending release of Avengers 4 next May, insisted that the scheduling was strictly ABC's decision.

The fourth and final installment of the 'Avengers,' which will deal with events in the aftermath of 'Infinity War,' will close the chapter on one of the most successful franchises of all-time and is expected to have significant implications for the characters on 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D,' giving a possible explanation to its rescheduling.

The shortened length of the upcoming season has led fans to speculate that it would be the series' last, but Dungey told tvline that such may not be the case: "I feel like Season 5 was their creatively strongest yet, so I don’t at the moment have any plans to think of Season 6 as the last season."

"What we’ve discovered is that we have a very loyal and passionate fan base for S.H.I.E.L.D. The show does incredibly well for us in delayed viewing. By putting it in the summer, we’re going to be able to ‘super-serve’ the fan base that loves that show and hopefully give it an opportunity to continue on longer than we would if it was [scheduled] in-season," he continued. 

A cancelation after the sixth season wouldn't come as a surprise to many, however, as ABC has previously axed 'Marvel's Inhumans' and 'Marvel's Agent Carter' for low ratings. While 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D' started off with high ratings but mixed reviews, the ratings have since begun to drop while reviews have shown an improvement. This has presented a sort of conundrum to executives at the network, who aren't quite sure what to make of the show.

The renewal for season five saw ABC move it to an all-new slot on Friday — one previously occupied by 'Marvel's Inhumans' — and it garnered a respectable four million viewers through the course of the week. While not officially confirmed to be a swansong, suggestions that season six is the show's last are quite probably not too far off the mark.