Oh no! There’s a Repeat!? Here’s the Deal.

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returns March 4, 2014.

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 programming.

  1. Filming Schedule
    Each episode takes 8 work days to film and 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.  In total it takes approximately five weeks to produce one episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  If a new episode aired every week there would not be enough time to film and produce each episode in time to air.
  2. Broadcast Schedule
    A full season order for a drama series on ABC is 22 episodes, occasionally additional episodes will be added bringing it up to a maximum of 24 episodes. The season begins in September and ends in May, around 35 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 (like the Olympics) 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 on any given 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 issue that affects all network dramas.



  1. Agent Breedwell says

    It’s just another ploy to remind others of what’s going on currently with Skye! Kidding, but in reality, watch tonight and see all of the foreshadowing, showcasing the genius of the show!

    Great post, Director, as always.

  2. DDT2005 says

    Here in Panama, and the rest of Latin America, the show airs on Sony Entertainment Television (SET), usually 25 hours after it airs on ABC. It appears that they will be airing episode 6 on Oct 30th, despite the fact ABC is waiting another week. I’ll come back and edit this post if they end up airing a rerun instead.

    If they do air episode 6, it will probably be SET’s last new episode until ABC airs a few more new ones.

  3. Director E says

    It may be that your network just hasn’t updated based on the latest information. Apparently Australia’s TV Week magazine has an article about “this week’s episode” when they even said on TV last week that the show wouldn’t be on this week. Information can be slow to filter through so you may find that the new episode does not air for you at all, sorry to disappoint you.

  4. Rich says

    Also, if ABC had lost confidence in the show, why would they show it at all? They would just throw something else in the slot.

  5. Jenna says

    I was just assuming it was because the World Series is on Fox so they figured it’d be a good time to take one of those aforementioned weeks off. And thats why the break is now and not next week or some other week down the line.

  6. HaloHawk87 says

    It makes sense to take the week of Halloween off. It can also help those who started watching the show late get caught up.

  7. Duneprune87 says

    It airs two-three days after the U.S here in the U.K. Today (Oct 30th) is the day Thor is released. I just assumed it was to tie in with that, in case maybe something in episode 6 gives any spoilers away or something along those lines. Probably not though.

  8. Dave says


    Just checked Sony’s website, they stated in a tongue-in-cheek way that “Our Agents are on stand-by”… So, nope, no new episode this week for LatAm either.

    But at least we have Thor: The Dark World premiering this week! 😀

  9. DDT2005 says


    Just checked Sony’s website, they stated in a tongue-in-cheek way that “Our Agents are on stand-by”… So, nope, no new episode this week for LatAm either.

    Sony Entertainment Television website still has it as episode 6 (site is in spanish). Click on primetime button, look at 09:00 (which is actually 9pm).


    With everything said, I’ll be surprised if it is new. I’ll let y’all know. Cool

  10. DDT2005 says

    I was correct. SET in LatAm is indeed showing a rerun, and for the second week in a row, “Girl in the Flower Dress”, which is episode 5.

  11. JT Haight says

    Thank you Director E. I originally intended to search out ABC’s point of contact to complain about the breaks. I hate getting excited all week for Tuesday night only to see another stupid re-run!!! I just figured it was due to ABC’s disorganization, and hadn’t considered the alternative.

    So thank you for opening my eyes, I will not complain about this again, now that I know how much hard work the network and show is putting into this gem of a show.


    Agent H8

  12. Lisa says

    Just wanted to say that it’s nice to see a site that actually understands the industry. This is the best and most balanced explanation of the reality of television production that I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing on a fan site. Thanks!

  13. ron says

    I am not buying it. For example I saw new episodes of Blue Bloods every week when it was a new program. Now I see tonight its a repeat. Same with Person of Interest. First season a new episode appeared every week. I think it has more to do with cost vs profit. I know its expensive to produce a new episode every week so the networks and producers compromise and show a rerun. Far less expensive even if the ratings may not be as high and viewers are disappointed. Most every decision made these days on tv has to do with profit vs cost.

    • Director E says

      I suggest you go to IMDB and check the air dates of other shows INCLUDING those you mentioned, You will see in black and white lots of gaps in the schedule. Also do some simple math. 22 episodes does not fit into 35ish weeks without breaks, it’s pretty black and white so you really can’t disagree with it no matter how many conspiracy theories you choose to put forth.

  14. nino says

    i uderstand that making episodes takes a long time.. but c’mon every teusday i’m exited to watch a episode, and yet again another repeat or nothing at all. getting tired of waiting every month.

  15. joão victor says

    thats just piss me off!!!! one day i say “hey i remember!!! there is 2 weeks i dont watch agents of shild!!!! there must be 2 brand new episodes for me to watch huru!!!!! then i look for it and there is a crap hiatus!!!! good damit man ¬¬ that’s just anoying me, they should film and cut everything, and them just after aall that they could put it on TV!!!! ¬¬ and now i will have to w8 again…

    • Director E says

      There’s good reason for the schedule being the way it is, despite how annoying and frustrating it is, but the good news is, the final 7 episodes of the season, starting from Apr 1 will run through without any further breaks.

      • joão victor says

        i do hope so, but once again, they should tape everything beffore put on TV, after u have all ready to go, then u let people watch

        • Director E says

          If they were doing 13 episodes that might be possible, but with 22 episodes, it would just never be possible

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