Despite being on the verge of cancellation multiple times, Marvel's Agents of SHIELD defied the odds once again earlier this year when it was picked up for a sixth season. However, there were a couple of caveats as the series wouldn't return for nearly a year, and instead of the customary twenty episode season, six will be a shortened season consisting of thirteen episodes.

Naturally, fans of SHIELD began to speculate that the reduced episode count and drastic reshuffle in the schedule was a clear indication that season six would bring the series to an end. If you cast your minds back to the beginning of this article, you might recall I mentioned that SHIELD had a habit of defying the odds, well it's only gone and done it again. ABC has picked up SHIELD for season seven which will be broadcast summer 2020.

According to Deadline, season seven will be shot directly after production is completed on season six, and the decision for the early pick-up made economic sense for the back-to-back filming of two shorter seasons. From a cast and crew perspective, they'll be making twenty-six episodes instead of the usual twenty-two, so technically this could be seen as adding extra episodes.

SHIELD has long since moved away from crossing over or connecting to the events of the MCU. The back end of season one beautifully overlapped with Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but SHIELD has largely forged its own corner of the MCU in subsequent seasons. While it might not be the network Television Marvel series we wanted (bring back Agent Carter, please), it's the one that has lasted the longest.

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD returns to ABC in July and will be broadcast in the UK on E4 shortly after.