The Inhuman Royal Family’s arrival is just on the horizon, but the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first TV show isn’t going anywhere. ABC has renewed Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for a fifth season, as confirmed by the show’s official Twitter account. Meanwhile, another televised superhero universe has been axed, and it’s NBC’s Powerless from Marvel’s Big Two rival, DC.
Marvel announced the return of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. through the show’s official Twitter account, while the death of Powerless was confirmed by showrunner Patrick Schumacker, also on Twitter.
There’s no one clear reason why Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will live to see next fall, while Powerless won’t. Neither Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. nor Powerless pulled in spectacular broadcast ratings throughout the 2016-2017 season (Powerless premiered in February 2017), but it could be chalked up to S.H.I.E.L.D.’s semi-coherent continuity within the Marvel movie franchise, which just saw Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 cross $500 million worldwide.
S.H.I.E.L.D. is also a more traditional action-adventure program that sometimes features superheroes — this season, the demonic superhero Ghost Rider became a recurring character — whereas Powerless dared to attempt a half-hour workplace sitcom within a superhero universe. While Powerless fans are in mourning, Marvel’s audience is assured, for at least another year, of S.H.I.E.L.D. saving the world from the shadows.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has also burdened the hard work of introducing the concept of Inhumans — humans with alien DNA that grants them superpowers — just as Marvel’s Inhumans television show is primed to debut this fall. While the Avengers have never hung out with their TV colleagues, perhaps Inhuman and S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Daisy Johnson will meet Black Bolt and the rest of the Inhuman Royal Family in the near future.