Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., or simply Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., is an American television series created for ABC by Joss Whedon, Jed Whedon, and Maurissa Tancharoen, based on the Marvel Comics organization S.H.I.E.L.D. (Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division), a peacekeeping and spy agency in a world of superheroes. It is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and acknowledges the continuity of the franchise's films and other television series. The series is produced by ABC Studios, Marvel Television, and Mutant Enemy Productions, with Jed Whedon, Tancharoen, and Jeffrey Bell serving as showrunners.
The series stars Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, reprising his role from the film series, alongside Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge. Nick Blood, Adrianne Palicki, Henry Simmons, Luke Mitchell, John Hannah, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, and Jeff Ward joined in later seasons. The S.H.I.E.L.D. agents deal with various unusual cases and enemies, including Hydra, Inhumans, Life Model Decoys, alien species such as the Kree, and time travel.
The Avengers writer and director Joss Whedon began developing a S.H.I.E.L.D. pilot following the film's release, and Gregg was confirmed to reprise his role in October 2012. The series was officially picked up by ABC in May 2013. Prosthetic makeup is created with Glenn Hetrick's Optic Nerve Studios, while Legacy Effects contributes other practical effects. The visual effects for the series are created by FuseFX, and have been nominated for multiple awards. Several episodes directly crossover with films or other television series set in the MCU, while other characters from MCU films and Marvel One-Shots also appear throughout the series.
The series premiered on September 24, 2013, with the first season concluding on May 13, 2014. This was followed by a second season from September 2014 to May 2015, a third from September 2015 to May 2016, a fourth from September 2016 to May 2017, and a fifth from December 2017 to May 2018. A sixth season premiered on May 10, 2019, and a final seventh season is set to broadcast in 2020. After starting the first season with high ratings but mixed reviews, the ratings began to drop while reviews improved. This led to much lower but more consistent ratings, as well as more consistently positive reviews in the subsequent seasons.
Several characters created for the series have since been introduced to the comic universe and other media. Marvel's Most Wanted, a planned spin-off centered on Lance Hunter and Bobbi Morse, received a pilot order in August 2015 but did not lead to a series. An online digital series, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Slingshot, centered on Cordova-Buckley's Elena "Yo-Yo" Rodriguez, was launched in December 2016 on ABC.com.