‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Ratings Drop 34% to 8.4 Million Viewers

Published 2 years ago by

SHIELD agent coulson Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ratings Drop 34% to 8.4 Million Viewers

The bad news first: after Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. made history with its premiere episode – pulling in nearly 12 million viewers total – the series’ second episode didn’t fair as well. With a total audience of 8.4 million viewers, the show dropped 34%, which is a significant loss for any network or program, even those not tied to movie universes.

As shocking as that decline in viewers may seem, it’s worth pointing out that TV shows almost always drop viewers after the premiere episode, and Disney’s heavy marketing of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. meant that there would likely be more fans tuning in for the premiere than would actually be hooked. Even so, this could be the start of a perilous trend for Joss Whedon’s latest project, meaning ABC, Disney and Marvel may need to realign their plans if they intend to make the show a long-term success.

The drop in ratings will undoubtedly lead many to proclaim that ‘DC rules’ and that this is evidence of just how ‘terrible’ the show is from top to bottom. Of course, using the amount of people who made the decision to tune in to an episode as a gauge for its quality is a dangerous science. Yet even if fans of Joss Whedon choose to overlook the show’s lukewarm start and embrace it wholeheartedly, we retain our stance that the show has some serious improvements to make.

agents shield tv show joss whedon Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ratings Drop 34% to 8.4 Million Viewers

Although it’s hard to categorize a show with over 8 million viewers tuning in as a “failure,” neither Disney nor Marvel are in this for a modest success. One of the biggest questions about the proposed S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series was whether the same amount of fans who helped The Avengers cross the $1 billion mark would tune in, despite the show lacking the talents of Iron Man, Captain America, or Thor. And a 34% drop in ratings – even with a special appearance from Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) – won’t be calming those fears.

(Then again, people didn’t exactly know Sam Jackson would be showing up. Maybe next time the producers will put him in the previews.)

Compared to the premiere episode, the writing did succeed in showing a bit more of each character. However, the characters seem to be where the showrunners are placing the heaviest load, not necessarily the show’s connections to the larger Marvel universe. Since the show is the brainchild of Joss and Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen (the minds behind Dollhouse), that’s no surprise. But with slipping viewership, we’d predict that Samuel L. Jackson’s cameo is only the beginning of recognizable faces or names being dropped left and right.

samuel l jackson nick fury shield avengers Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ratings Drop 34% to 8.4 Million Viewers

Does this ratings slip mean the future of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is suddenly in peril? Probably not. After all, the shockingly successful head of Marvel Kevin Feige was the one who convinced Joss Whedon to direct The Avengers, seeing talent where others saw a bad bet. After proving himself with The Avengers, Whedon accepted a position as the head of all things Marvel, including Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. With all that in mind, it seems that not only is Whedon in the driver’s seat, but he has better odds than ever of getting enough time to grow the show in the direction he wishes.

Only time will tell if the show finds a massive fanbase, or a strongly vocal and devoted one (which is usually the case for Whedon’s camp). But if the show’s writers start placing more of an emphasis on larger issues, like exactly how Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg) is still alive, success will be easier to come by.

What do you make of this ratings drop? Is the show done for, merely stabilizing, or still a success by your estimation? Give us your thoughts in the comments.


Catch Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. every Tuesday @8pm on ABC.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.

Source: EW

Follow Andrew Dyce on Twitter @andrew_dyce
Get our free email alerts on the topics and author of this article:


Post a Comment

GravatarWant to change your avatar?
Go to Gravatar.com and upload your own (we'll wait)!

 Rules: No profanity or personal attacks.
 Use a valid email address or risk being banned from commenting.

If your comment doesn't show up immediately, it may have been flagged for moderation. Please try refreshing the page first, then drop us a note and we'll retrieve it. Keep in mind that we do not allow external links in the comments.

  1. It is way too childish. It’s like watching the fricken A-Team or GI-Joe where everybody is shooting an no one gets shot. I wanted to like this but it’s too simplistic and cookie-cutter.

    “We can’t expose ourselves to the real super hero’s because agent Coleslaw is supposed to be dead.” Major lame sauce. It’s just an excuse to keep the costs down.

    And what was up with that stupid hole in the plane on the second episode? The air pressure drop would only have been for a few moments. The rubber raft to plug the hole was pure 50′s sci-fi TV stupidity. And if they were at a high altitude they would have all suffocated or suffered from hypothermia. Major science fail!

    The Tomorrow People is so much better. The plots so far have been so much deeper and mature.

    • It could have been soooo much better but is way too childish, if only it was darker like the new daredevil it would be awesome. Kids are very mature these days a little darker material and people getting shot etc would be fine to see

  2. This Pass tuesday was the last episode for me. This show sucks!

  3. Very sad show why the teens don’t make sense never seen teenage Shield agents ever. International agents where are they ,my TV has millions of pixels why is it I can only see one colour??? World wide crisis helmet as a threat??? This is a Marvel show so where is marvel I who have read Marvel comics for the past 32 years have never seen any thing Marvel like this. Joss whedon for years has delivered for me what has gone wrong??? With the announcement of new Marvel shows and the characters who they will be covering I guess the diversity will pick up so cool there but Joss please fix this I’m a fan, at the moment this is the worst TV show of the year so far major fail.

  4. Give Marvel Agents of Shield to HBO, Netfilx, starz or the CW. Im sure they’ll do a better job.

  5. This show is horrible.

  6. This serial sucks…:(

  7. When I sat down to watch the first episode I was so excited and the beginning started out fine, the agent defeated and maybe killed a few of the people who attacked him. Then I saw Maria Hill and got super hard (In my pants). But that was only like the first eight minutes. The rest was absolutely painful to watch. I literally went around the house and raged at all my relatives because this was just awful! There was no action throughout the rest of that ep and the characters they introduced needed to finish their martial arts training before they confront real enemies.
    Agent Coulson would not send out little kids, untrained agents or allow people to join the team because your guy told her the truth?! Da fuq!
    apart from the first 8 minutes the rest seems like a different show a teen-kiddy show designed for people who think killing the bad guy is wrong (even though thats all S.H.I.E.L.D. ever wants to do).
    Anyway even if the show picks up it’s too late I dont like the characters and the show should have been about Maria Hill and Coulson with some added characters to boost them. With multiple guest appearances from Hawkeye, Black widow and mocking Jay.
    I don’t mean to be a hater but damn do I hate this show! But I would go to youtube and watch all the Maria Hill scenes.

  8. This episode is too dark……not the content, but the visual. I get it, but it needs to lighten up.

  9. The reason Agents of SHIELD will fail is because of the lack of characters with powers. Reality is they are supposed to be based in a world that super powers are everywhere. They don’t remember that X-Men are part of this world, Captain America, Spider-Man, there are literally thousands of characters that could be thrown in here and there but the show only focuses on characters without super powers or those that are infused with super strength or something minor. It has so much promise but having the name Marvel on it without anyone with super powers gracing the show from time to time…. I mean seriously add some depth; throw in a side story with a super character assisting them or something. Even SHIELD comic books had the occasional super powered character. Yes I know this is supposed to be about the Agents of SHIELD but there are opportunities that are being wasted. That and the story lines aren’t that great