Season Five of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is well underway on ABC in the US – and it gets its UK debut next week on E4, launching Sunday 4th March at 9.00pm – but will it be the last as ratings dip on the other side of the Atlantic?
Showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen have acknowledged that the season five finale could be the end of the series, but say they’re prepared for it if the show doesn’t get a sixth season, telling TVLine that the episode will work as a series finale.
“We’re ready for if this is the end. We’re definitely going to make it rewarding either way,” says Jed Whedon.
Maurissa Tancharoen added of the ending that they “know what it is” and confirmed that it could serve as “either” a season five finale or an overall ending for the show.
Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., created for ABC by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen, is based on the Marvel Comics organisation S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division). Produced by ABC Studios, Marvel Television, and Mutant Enemy Productions, with Jed Whedon, Tancharoen, and Jeffrey Bell serving as showrunners, the show shares continuity with the films and other television series of the franchise.
The series revolves around the character of Phil Coulson, with Clark Gregg reprising his role from the film series, and his team of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, who must deal with various unusual cases and enemies, including Hydra and the Inhumans.
So far, the long-running show’s fifth seasn is getting an average audience of 2.3 million viewers in the US, which is the lowest of any currently airing ABC drama, but it does enjoy a big boost with catch-up audiences – and the show’s upcoming 100th episode may boost the ratings.
“It’s definitely an emotional game changer,” teased Tancharoen, with Whedon adding: “I think that nothing will be the same after, so that I guess is the definition of a game changer.”
Depending on any imminent shifts in the wind-blowing, “We can certainly pivot and there are certain things that we’re putting in that at the last minute could be adjusted,” Whedon said of the series finale. “But we know at the end we’re not moving off that mark. We’re going to do what we were planning to do, and I think that it’ll be thrilling either way.”