Fear not, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. fans, the show isn't going anywhere as Marvel and ABC have announced that the series has officially been renewed for season 7. This news comes from Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment, who made the announcement recently. The big surprise here is that the announcement comes ahead of the debut of season 6, which isn't scheduled to air until next year.

In any case, this is good news for those die hard fans who have kept the series alive over the years. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been repeatedly on the bubble at ABC at risk of potential cancelation, as the show has never quite been a ratings monster. However, it does quite well on DVR and streaming. Those numbers may more accurately convey the show's overall popularity and likely factored into the network's decision to bring the series back for at least one more go-around.

In the press release announcing the renewal, Disney and ABC listed the cast members as Ming-Na Wen, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker, Elizabeth Henstridge, Henry Simmons, Natalia Cordova-Buckley and Jeff Ward. Noticeably absent from that list is Clark Gregg, who has been leading the show as Agent Phil Coulson ever since he was seemingly killed at the end of The Avengers in 2012. Does this mean Coulson's time on the series is up? That wouldn't be terribly surprising. Gregg is set to appear as Coulson once again on the big screen in Captain Marvel next year, which is a prequel to the events of the MCU as we know it, taking place in the 90s. It's possible that Gregg, as an actor, is simply ready to move on.

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Overall, it's an interesting time for Marvel on the small screen. Both Iron First and Luke Cage were recently canceled on Netflix, with the fates of Daredevil, Jessica Jones and The Punisher hanging in the balance. Meanwhile, Disney is planning mega-budget TV shows featuring Loki, Scarlet Witch, and a team-up series with Falcon and Bucky for the Disney+ streaming service, which launches next year. Those shows will be firmly rooted alongside the movies in the MCU. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., on the other hand, has put a lot of distance between itself and what's going on in the movie world.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was co-created by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen. They serve as executive producers along with Jeffrey Bell and Jeph Loeb. Season 6 doesn't yet have a premiere date, but the shortened season is expected to debut next summer after the release of Avengers 4 in theaters. No episode count for season 7 was revealed at the time of the announcement. It's likely the season will debut in 2020. This news comes to us from Marvel.

Ryan Scott