The ratings are down and ABC has cancelled quite a number of shows this week, but apparently the network wants two familiar names to carry over to its 2017-18 schedule. It has renewed Agents of SHIELD for a fifth season and Once Upon A Time for a seventh season. Neither renewals were a sure thing and both definitely came down to the wire. Both shows are at all-time ratings lows, and both are at a point that if they were cancelled they would still have episode counts that are attractive to the syndication market (where they can really start to turn a profit for the network). But in their favor, both do well with delayed viewing (though we have yet to see a clear sign that those stats actually help broadcast network shows) and Once Upon A Time continues to trend well on the social networks. Also, both have close ties to ABC’s big boss Disney as Agents of SHIELD is a spin-off from the Avengers movie franchise and Once Upon A Time has cycled many of the Disney fairy tale characters through its story arcs.
Agents of SHIELD, which follows an elite group of super-spies lead by Agent Coulson, will time-share the Tuesday 10 PM EST hour with the new Inhumans series scheduled to debut in Fall (and which is not considered a spin-off from AoS). It will likely only get a thirteen episode order for its fifth season and don’t be surprised if that is announced as its last at some point.
Once Upon A Time, which focuses on fairy tale characters living in the modern-day setting of Storybrooke, will wrap up most of its story arcs at the end of its current season and will go through a reboot of sorts in its seventh year. Several of the show’s regulars, including series star Jennifer Morrison, will only return in recurring roles or perhaps not at all. The three stars set as regulars for the seventh season currently are Lana Parrilla, Robert Carlyle and Colin O’Donoghue.
That just about does it for renewal and cancellation announcements for the genre shows on the broadcast nets (you can see the full round-up of those at this link) with the exception of FOX’s The Exorcist and Scream Queens (both likely on the way out). But new series pickup announcements are rolling in (get a preview of that here) and will continue to do so through next week. Be sure to stay tuned to this site and the Cancelled Sci Fi Twitter Site for updates and breaking news.