Ever since the news concerning Marvel’s The Inhumans broke late Monday night, fans have been left asking plenty of questions. For some, they questioned whether this meant we’d see Black Bolt and the royal family in the greater Marvel Cinematic Universe, while others questioned what this meant for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. – both incredibly good questions that I don’t see us getting an answer to anytime soon.
See, while Marvel issued a rather lengthy press release for the show, throwing nearly everyone for a loop, they still managed to leave plenty of information out of said release. This, naturally, led to multiple trades taking the time to report on what they’d been hearing regarding the upcoming series. The biggest news to follow the announcement actually came from the folks over at The Hollywood Reporter who were the first to confirm that the first season of the series will consist of only eight episodes. Interestingly enough, though, that same article seemed to hint at confusion as to whether or not this new series would replace the previously planned film or serve as a new project altogether. For those wondering about that, I’d imagine the film is dead at Marvel Studios. Is that concrete? No, but it’s hard to imagine the studio moving forward with a film with Marvel Television focusing on a television series.
This, of course, led to perhaps the most important question of all: How will this new series impact Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Fans of S.H.I.E.L.D. know that the series was the first to introduce Inhumans into the Marvel Cinematic Universe when they transformed the Agent formerly known as Skye into Daisy “Quake” Johnson at the end of season two. Since then, the show has spent a decent amount of time introducing new Inhumans, and showrunners Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen have even hinted at possibly introducing “classic” Inhumans in the show’s current fourth season. (Something that, admittedly, took most of us by surprise initially.)
So if ABC is turning their focus towards Inhumans, teaming up with IMAX to not only financially produce the series, as well as screen the first two episodes, but also to promote it, it’s hard to imagine S.H.I.E.L.D. will survive for a fifth season, right? My answer would seemingly be yes, especially given the fact that S.H.I.E.L.D. has never been able to regain its viewers from season one. However, according to the folks over at IGN, it appears that – as of right now – the new Inhumans series should not impact S.H.I.E.L.D.’s potential for a fifth season on the network.
“Additionally, we’ve been told that Inhumans has no impact on the fate of Agents of SHIELD. No decision has been made as to whether Agents of SHIELD will return for a fifth season or not.”
They were also quick to note that the Inhumans series will not be a spin-off of S.H.I.E.L.D., something that the folks over at THR also confirmed in their initial write-up.
“Inhumans have appeared on the TV show Agents of SHIELD, but our sources tell us that this new show will not be a spin-off of Agents of SHIELD.”
At the end of the day, assuming ratings don’t continue to decline for S.H.I.E.L.D.*, the show should be safe for a fifth season, but we really won’t know until May when ABC holds their upfronts. For now, we can just be excited that the network is willing to take a chance on something as big as an Inhumans series.
Note: While *S.H.I.E.L.D. does rather great in Live+7 ratings, notching between 6-7 million viewers and usually moving up from a 1.3 in the 18-49 demo to around 2.0. While those numbers are not exactly terrible, with a new president in charge of the network, it’s hard to know how she’ll view the series when it comes time to renew it next year.