Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. surprised fans at the end of their Season 5 run by not acknowledging the events of Avengers: Infinity War. But the series, which has slowing pushed away from having to tie back to the big screen Marvel-verse has successfully plotted their own course this past season, so an ending keeping them independent was probably for the best. Word was the return of the series wouldn't be until 2019, maybe as late as post-Avengers 4 to avoid the Thanos plot altogether. So, when does Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 6 premiere? Turns out it's even later than than originally thought.
Filming for the next season, which ABC has confirmed will only be 13 episodes, began at the end of last month, with Clark Gregg taking the director's chair for the premiere episode entitled “Missing Pieces.” With a filming schedule looking like it will stretch into the fall, some fans hoped an early 2019 premiere might be in the offering.
But in the comments of an Instagram post by star Elisabeth Henstridge, who plays Jemma Simmons, the actress suggests the show isn't coming back until July 2019.
The photo, which is unrelated to the show, still found fans clamoring for any details the actress could give about Season 6.
On one of Henstridge’s photo posts to Instagram, an Agents of SHIELD fan asked when the series would return for its sixth season. Henstridge responded, telling him the series would be back in July.
Season 5's finale aired on May 18, 2018. A July 2019 return will put at least 14 months between seasons. But it also allows the series to continue to sidestep the whole "half the universe disappeared" story without it being too weird, since the show does still make subtle references to the events in the films even if they don't allow it to mesh with their own ongoing storylines. (Meanwhile, all of Netflix's Marvel shows are snubbing the movies altogether, as they have done from the get-go.)
ABC said they were hopeful this move to summer and the shortened 13 episode seasons might give the network a way forward for S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 6 not to be the last one. Speaking to TV Guide, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey said:
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.
Moreover, ABC isn't ready to give up on Marvel shows either. At the Television Critics Association summer press tour last week, ABC's Dungey told Deadline they were in talks for a new show, despite the failures of Agent Carter and the collapse of Marvel's Most Wanted before it ever aired. She wouldn't give details, only saying:
In terms of Marvel, we have some things that we are in discussions with them right now that we are in development. I’m very excited about it.
Meanwhile, fans will settle in for the long wait until Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns to ABC next summer.