ABC's last remaining superhero series will remain on the network for an additional -- albeit shortened -- season: "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." has been renewed for season six.
The network announced the renewal at its upfronts presentation on Monday, ending speculation about the show's future. "S.H.I.E.L.D." has been perpetually low-rated in recent years, though Deadline reports that it performs very well on DVR viewings, and is also quite popular overseas.
Those positives, coupled with its connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (however slight), make it a natural fit for ABC. And as Deadline notes, the network already canceled sister show "Inhumans," which failed to connect with both critics and audiences alike in the fall. So it definitely didn't want to part ways entirely with its sister Marvel brand.
Of course, the renewal is a bit of a mixed blessing, since it only included a 13-episode order, far shorter than the standard 22 that the show enjoyed throughout its first five seasons. Could that mean that season six will be the true end for "S.H.I.E.L.D."? That may depend on how many people continue to tune in -- and just what's in the pipeline for other Marvel shows.
The season five finale of "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." airs on ABC this Friday, May 18.