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ABC ‘doesn’t have any plans’ of ending Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. next season

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Dec 18, 2018, 11:00 PM EST (Updated)

The sixth season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. might be shorter than the previous ones, but don’t think that means ABC is planning to wrap up the critically-loved Marvel series.

While speaking on the network’s fall plans, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey told TV Guide that fans shouldn’t worry about the 13-episode order (down from the usual 22 episodes per season). Dungey said the network acknowledges the series is currently enjoying a creative high and a good bit of acclaim, and if Season 6 can keep the momentum going, there’s every chance Coulson’s team could return again the next year.

"I think the season we just had, 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,” she said.

Though the episode reduction might look like a negative sign on the surface, it’s important to note the past few seasons of S.H.I.E.L.D. have been telling smaller arc stories broken up into “pods,” which basically added up to two mini-seasons already. By dropping the order to 13 episodes, it’d seemingly allow the creative team to keep telling stories in the same way.

As far as the announced summer 2019 air date for Season 6 — which will put the series in the back part of the midseason — Dungey said that decision wasn’t tied to Marvel’s plans for Avengers 4 (the air date will likely put the next season of S.H.I.E.L.D. on the air after Avengers 4 in 2019, or right around the sequel’s opening date). Instead, the network simply felt S.H.I.E.L.D. would have its best chance of success during the less-competitive summer months.

The Season 5 finale of S.H.I.E.L.D., titled “The End,” airs Friday night on ABC.

(Via TV Guide)