The ‘Agents of SHIELD’ Finale Was Cut 20 Minutes Short — Fans Want to See the Rest

While the MCU had a lot of popular movies, it also had a lot of TV shows that Marvel fans loved. The primary example of that was Agents of SHIELD, which was a long-running TV show that featured a few popular Marvel characters such as Nick Fury, Agent Coulson, and Maria Hill.

At the same time however, the show was primarily focused on brand-new characters in the MCU, and a few of them became fan favorites.

The show ultimately ended with its seventh season in August 2020, and while its fans mourn the finale, fans are also angry that it was supposed to be longer. Here’s a look at what could’ve happened in the finale of Agents of SHIELD.

What was cut from the finale of ‘Agents of SHIELD’

Due to the fact that Agents of SHIELD was broadcasted on a traditional TV network, the show had to do things differently than a show that was meant for streaming. For example, even though Agents of SHIELD was broadcasted on ABC, which is owned by Disney, ABC ultimately didn’t allow the show to do what it wanted to do in its finale, according to fans on Reddit.

One fan said, “Agents of Shield finale was originally 20 minutes longer, but ABC wouldn’t let them air a full 2hr epiosde, so they had to cut 20 minutes.” Collider reported that, according to Jed Whedon, who co-wrote the finale, the cut 20 minutes was mostly “unforgettable, humorous lines.”

That said, a lot of extra content also got cut. For example, a couple of explanation scenes were cut, and a couple of fight scenes were trimmed down, too.

Why this happens on TV but not on streaming

MING-NA WEN as Melinda May
MING-NA WEN as Melinda May | Mitch Haaseth / ABC via Getty Images

The ‘Agents of SHIELD’ Character That Could Fit Perfectly Into a Marvel Disney+ Show

As fans mentioned on Reddit, those scenes, and more, “were all cut for no other reason than broadcast TV timing.”

This isn’t uncommon on broadcast TV, since the main way that TV shows make money is by getting advertising dollars. That’s only possible by having ad breaks, and ad breaks have to be strategically placed so that they get the most viewers. 

That’s where the scheduling aspect of broadcast TV comes in. Prime time TV is called that because that’s when most people are at home and have the time to watch TV. All of this simply means that, for broadcast TV, an episode of a show has a time limit that it has to meet. If the episode goes longer, then that can mess up the schedule, and as a result, many TV shows have to cut content to make the time requirement. 

That’s not the case for streaming services. Since streaming generally doesn’t have ads, and since there is no such thing as prime time streaming, shows on streaming services can be as long as they need to be. Unfortunately however, Agents of SHIELD was not a streaming show, and as a result, its finale got trimmed down a lot. 

Disney+ and the future of Marvel TV shows

While Marvel did make a few shows with Netflix, their relationship has since ended, and Marvel is now making shows exclusively for Disney+. These shows have the benefits that all streaming shows have, and they can be as long as they need to be. 

Regardless, like fans on Reddit said, Marvel fans still want to see those cut 20 minutes from the Agents of SHIELD finale. That’s not an impossible task, since Disney+ needs new content, and those cut 20 minutes could be that new content. 

Some fans even want to see Agents of SHIELD return on Disney+, but that’s not too likely. In any case, since the future Marvel shows will be on Disney+, Marvel fans won’t have to be disappointed at any more cut content from those shows.