While we’ll have to catch up on both of last night’s nerd shows later tonight, in between watching THE ULTIMATE FIGHTER. a bunch of people did tune in to watch the debut of AGENTS OF SHIELD, despite it going up against the current ratings juggernauts of NCIS and THE VOICE. SHIELD drew 11.9 million viewers for a 4.6 rating (“NCIS” drew a “whopping” 19.5 million and THE VOICE 12.7 million.) The demos were promising however.

“SHIELD,” starring Clark Gregg as the agent character he played in the 2012 film “Marvel’s The Avengers,” tied with “The Voice” as Tuesday’s No. 1 series in the adults 18-49 demo (4.6 rating). Head-to-head, “SHIELD” beat “Voice” in the demo, 4.6/14 to 4.0/12. The 4.6 rating makes “SHIELD” the top drama premiere on any network since ABC’s “V” in November 2009 — and the best for any 8 p.m. drama since “Lost” in 2004. ABC was able to bring men to the network, with roughly 58% of the 18-49 audience for “SHIELD” coming from guys. Compare this to lat season’s averages for its returning dramas: “Grey’s Anatomy” (24%), “Scandal” (26%), “Revenge” (30%), “Once Upon a Time” (33%) and “Castle” (36%).

All in all, this seems to have been a strong start for the show, although WB sneakily stole its thunder a bit by announcing their OWN movie spin-off program—GOTHAM. But see the next post for that.


  1. Noticed Kirby got a fairly large “Based on the Marvel Comic by…” credit in the opening role, as opposed to the buried in the end credits blink and you miss it credit after the stuntmen and caterers line he gets in most Marvel movies (if he gets anything at all). Presumably still no money, but that’s something. I wonder if that’s a Writers Guild thing, since I think they have some authority over those specific credits. Seems a bit odd to me that Whedon&Co. get a “Created by” credit, rather than a “Developed For Television by” credit or some variation, but then I think the same thing about the GAME OF THRONES.

  2. In terms of actual viewers, it came in dead last

    In terms of total viewers, it came in a very poor third:

    Time Net Show 18-49 Rating 18-49 Share Viewers Live+SD (million)
    8:00PM NBC The Voice (8-10PM) 4.6 13 14.14
    ABC Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. -Premiere 4.6 14 11.90
    CBS NCIS -Premiere 3.4 10 19.47
    FOX Dads 1.5 5 3.65
    CW Whose Line is it Anyway? 0.5 1 1.35

  3. Nicholas, why are you so doom-and-gloom about its performance? By every possible measure it did very well, not “very poor.” It absolutely was not “dead last.”

    From Variety:
    “The 4.6 rating makes “SHIELD” the top drama premiere on any network since ABC’s “V” in November 2009 — and the best for any 8 p.m. drama since “Lost” in 2004.”

    Best in a decade certainly isn’t “very poor.”

    Its viewership was also revised upward yesterday to a 4.7 in the 18-49 demo (12.1 million viewers), BEATING THE MOST POPULAR SHOWS ON NBC AND CBS. That matters. And those figures don’t include Hulu or DVR viewers, who there will be plenty of for this show given its target audience (I watched on Hulu Plus). NCIS beat it in total viewers, but its audience skews much older than the 18-49 demo desired by advertisers (note the 3.4 share, well behind SHIELD’s 4.7).

  4. Steranko is reviewing each new episode of SHIELD on the Hollywood Reporter website. He was very underwhelmed by the first episode. His bottom line is “No Menace, No Tension.” I think the series is benefiting right now from post-AVENGERS warmth, but it will have to stand on its own pretty soon and the first episode was only just okay–not boring but not great either. The high point was the last scene when we got to see Kirby’s flying car from Strange Tales #135, right down to the revolving tires (which many viewers may think was borrowed from the end of the first Back To The Future movie, made 20 years after the first SHIELD story in Strange Tales).

  5. i wanted to like this but couldn’t make it through it. The writing certainly couldn’t have been by Joss Whedon, as credited, because it was so very ordinary and (largely) predictable. Hope it gets better so it will get more comics-related shows on TV, but not a great start IMHO.

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