ABC just announced Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD has been granted a seventh season — which came out of nowhere and shocked us all. For those of you who are wondering why: the season that finished airing last May was the fifth. The sixth season hasn’t aired yet, and possibly hasn’t been filmed yet. It’s scheduled for a summer run.

Generally, when networks that aren’t The CW shove a show into the summer months, it means they’ve lost all confidence in it and are just burning off the remaining episodes before they cancel it. Just about everyone was certain Agents Of SHIELD wouldn’t live past Season 6…especially when you consider how much has changed since the program started.

Marvel was just beginning to dabble in live-action TV projects when SHIELD was conceived. The idea was to bridge the big-screen movies with events on the TV show in between. Since then the plan has mutated and changed directions multiple times. The connections between the movies and SHIELD have mostly been dropped. Marvel then took interest in adult-targeted Netflix dramas with C-list superheroes, before abandoning THAT for direct movie spinoffs on Disney+ starring characters like Loki.

But here we are so many years later, and Agents Of SHIELD is still puttering along. Perhaps the credit for this can go to the show’s writing, which has steadily gotten better and better with each passing season. If you wrote the show off during its weaker years, now’s the time to catch up – you won’t regret it.

Agents Of SHIELD returns on ABC Summer 2019, but it will live at least until 2020.

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