This week ABC is airing a repeat of The Girl in the Flower Dress instead of a new episode, people frequently ask why this happens, here’s the deal…
There are two primary reasons Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., along with other full season drama shows, have multiple breaks in the season that are usually filled with either repeats of earlier episodes or special event programs.
- Filming Schedule
While we haven’t heard officially how many days it takes to film an episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. typically a weekly drama on network TV will take about 8 days to film (add an additional two days to account for the weekend). Given episode 2 began filming around the 22 of July along with the fact we know they were in the middle of filming episode 9 last week, we can speculate that the 10 day schedule is about right for S.H.I.E.L.D. After the episode is filmed it has to be produced including cutting/editing, adding sound, ADR (Additional Dialogue recording), adding music and in S.H.I.E.L.D.’s case adding visual effects which all take time. If a new episode aired every week there would not be enough time to film and produce each episode in time to air.
- Broadcast Schedule
A full season order for a drama series on ABC is 22 episodes, ocassionally additional episodes will be added bringing it up to a maximum of 24 episodes. The season begins in the mid September and ends mid May, approximately 33 weeks. Simple math makes it obvious that to draw the season out to fill the season’s schedule there will need to be breaks.
From time to time these scheduled breaks will be planned to coincide with special events that make a certain date a logical one to skip but these are not generally the primary reason a week is skipped.
So ignore any rumors or speculation you may hear about why ABC is not airing a new episode this week, there is no concern on the part of ABC or Marvel, there is no secret reason or hidden conspiracy or evil intent, it is simply a practical and perfectly routine matter that affects all network dramas.