Just ahead of San Diego Comic-Con last week, fans of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD were hit with some sad news, that news being that the ABC series' seventh season -- set to air in 2020 -- will be its last. However, while the series' end is difficult news, it turns out that the decision to conclude the story came not from ABC, but from those making the show itself. Marvel television boss Jeph Loeb told ComicBook.com that it was their decision to end things in order to conclude the story on their own terms.
Speaking with us during San Diego Comic-Con, Loeb explained how the decision came about.
"So we were about halfway through the season and they [the network] called again and said, 'this is great, do you have a great idea for season seven?' And we were like...nope," Loeb said. "And at this time we all got together and said 'look if we're going to do this, let's make this the last hurrah. Let's go out with a parade. Let's end the story so that we can do it on our terms because the problem is that it's never the studio's decision. It's always the network's decision and so we said let's take the risk. Let's go back to them and say we'll do it as long as we can end the show."
For Agents of SHIELD to get to go out on its own terms is a significant thing. When the show was heading to its Season 5 finale, it seemed a bit like show might end there and it's something that they the show's producers actually took into consideration, writing the Season 5 finale as a series finale. However, when they network came back and asked them if they had ideas for a sixth season, they came up with one that worked. By deciding to end the show on their own terms, the show's writers will be able to focus on telling the story they want to tell as opposed to focusing on a future season that may or may not come.
"That way the writers were free to sort of do well, we don't have to worry about what are we going to do in Season 8."
When it comes to that series finale, it turns out that it's currently being filmed.
"We're shooting that now," says Loeb. "The finale, the series finale. You know there is a very definition of bittersweet. It is, you know, on the bitter side because it's just a wonderful job that we've had for seven years with this family of people. Then there is the sweet part which is that we are going to end it on our terms. The last two scripts, in particular, are...you know, if you've got a heart, you will hear it breaking."
Agents of SHIELD airs Friday nights on ABC starting at 8/7 p.m. Central.