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ABC Shifts ‘Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD’ to Summer

The next season will air over 2019’s warmest months

“Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD” was finally renewed for a sixth season by ABC yesterday — and now we know when it will air.

No, it won’t be fall. Nor winter, nor “midseason,” nor spring: “SHIELD” is now a summer show. Or at least, it will be in 2019 when it returns during our warmest months.

“By putting it in the summer, we feel like we’re going to be able to super-serve the fanbase that loves that show, and hopefully give it an opportunity to continue on longer than it would if it lived in season,” ABC Entertainment chief Channing Dungey said Tuesday on a call with press.

Sure, but why was “SHIELD” really banished to summer? To-date, the ongoing Season 5 has averaged a soft 1.1 rating among adults 18-49, which is the core demographic for broadcast primetime advertisers. That not-good number includes a week of delayed viewing for episodes old enough to tally.

Do those Nielsen numbers and its summer punishment mean Season 6 be the show’s swan song?

“I actually personally felt this season that we just had, Season 5, was their creatively strongest yet,” Dungey told reporters. “So I don’t at any moment have any plans to think of Season 6 as the last season.”

Last week, ABC officially canceled its other Marvel television drama, “Inhumans.” Marvel TV’s output has expanded over the last year. Outside of “SHIELD,” Marvel TV has its slew of Netflix series in “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Iron Fist,” “Luke Cage” and “The Punisher,” and his since branched out to Hulu with “Runaways” and will debut “Cloak & Dagger” on Freeform this year.

The late “SHIELD” renewal came just ahead of the Marvel TV drama’s now-season finale on May 18, which had been ominously titled “The End.” The finale will also wrap up “Agents of SHIELD’s” crossover with Marvel Studio’s “Avengers: Infinity War,” which the show has spread across its last few episodes. Now that it will return for a sixth season, “SHIELD” will likely have to find a way to incorporate the ramifications of Thanos’ now-infamous “snap.”

Reid Nakamura contributed to this report.