‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Debuts with Strong Ratings – But Will It Last?

Published 2 years ago by

agents of shield logo Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Debuts with Strong Ratings   But Will It Last?

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have had a lot to look forward to since The Avengers hit theaters last summer. With Iron Man 3‘s billion-dollar box office take and Thor: The Dark World on its way to theaters, Phase Two of the film side of things is in full swing. Add to that the premiere of Marvel Studios’ maiden television voyage in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (and rumors of an Agent Carter series), and it looks like the company is eager to take over another medium entirely.

Certainly, fans of Joss Whedon have been looking forward to the premiere of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., as the Avengers writer/director has proven time and time again that ensemble television is his specialty. Buzz has been building for the ABC series ever since Whedon’s involvement was announced and only intensified when news broke that Clark Gregg would resurrect fan favorite character Agent Coulson to head the series (although we still don’t know how). If its ratings are any indication, it appears that all the hype might lead to a hit series for ABC.

According to Nielsen ratings, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. attracted 11.9 million viewers for its pilot episode. For the sake of comparison, these figures place it behind the premiere of new NBC drama The Blacklist, coincidentally starring Avengers: Age of Ultron star James Spader. However, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. did rein in a 4.9 rating among the 18 to 49 demographic, the highest-rated premiere for that age group since V.

Agents of SHIELD Cast Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Debuts with Strong Ratings   But Will It Last?

The initial success of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. isn’t surprising considering the broad appeal of Marvel heroes and the fact that it’s following the studio’s two most successful big-screen ventures. Still, fans shouldn’t start fantasizing about what the series will bring in seasons to come. Many highly-anticipated shows have fizzled out soon after failing to secure a steady audience after its premiere (the aforementioned V, for example, only lasted two seasons).

Critically, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn’t exactly set the world on fire with its pilot episode (read our review). While the pilot episode has its share of clichés and underwhelming moments, it does demonstrate enough promise to potentially evolve into an enjoyable viewing experience tied to the larger Marvel mythos. After all, Whedon’s past series like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Dollhouse took time to develop beyond their case-of-the-week starting points into a more engaging, serialized storyline.

As it stands, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has the attention of fans. Now it just needs to keep it.


Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 8pm on ABC.

Source: Nielsen

Follow Robert Yaniz Jr. on Twitter @crookedtable
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  1. I very much enjoyed it, but they’ll have to keep up the pace and excitement. I hope Joss has some serious juice lined up for us.

    • Jacob had every right to be negative towards the vampires. Besides, he has not been around as long as the vampires, so he should be suspicious of their character. Throw in the Bella situation and that is plenty of fuel for him to have to be pissed.

      • Get out of here Troll.

      • WTF are you talking about?, your in the wrong forum.

  2. Is Joss remaining involved? If he is I know the show will steadily improve.

    • From what I first read that’s a No. The pilot and a few episodes, but I think he will oversee the show much like he is with Phase 2.

  3. I enjoyed the pilot. That 4.6 number is very promising and remember it had to go up against 2 other huge shows in The Voice and NCIS. The fact that it actually beat those 2 in that all important demographic is huge especially since the Voice will be moving to 8pm next week.

    So unless SHIELD has a historically bad fall in ratings, a 2nd season is pretty much secured.

  4. Didnt v also get cancelled? Rather shocking it fell behind the blacklist. and joss is only executive producer from here on out idk if it will last. I wasnt very impressed with the pilot but pilots are never the best episode

    • It lasted about 2-4 seasons. I don’t remember.

      • Apparently you didn’t read the entire article before commenting. V lasted 2 seasons.

  5. I hope this show lasts considering it doesn’t air here until Friday and traditionally, we have to suffer with great shows being cancelled because of a lack of interest from American audiences.

    Joss Whedon not being as part of the show’s writing team from now on would be good news for me considering I haven’t enjoyed any of his output so far.

  6. Too bad they didn’t go a different route and give us a TV Western based upon Marvel’s Gunhawks. The expectations would have been much lower than a spinoff of The Avengers, and Whedon could’ve had another crack at another sci-fi Western with supernatural elements with characters like the original Ghost Rider, the Two-Gun Kid, and Reno Jones, Gunhawk.

  7. Well I liked agent Coulson. Everyone else seems a little too young and pretty to be experienced government agents. They probably should have went more fore character actors and less for model looking types.

    They need a cool villainous organization to fight against rather than just trying to keep super powered people under control. Bring in Hydra and AIM.

    • This.

      It’s a shame, I literally thought it was dreadful but had SO MUCH potential.

      Other than Coulson, the whole thing is the classic good looking Americans with walls of white teeth, layers of make up, and not much raw talent except for the special effects department…

      • +1

    • I agree. Coulson and Melinda May are my faves. Agent Ward is slowly becoming one too. But I’ll have to watch more.

  8. They did introduce/discuss the mysterious Red Tide organization. (Is that what it was called?) Anyways, I’m sure there is some villain pulling the strings on that org and we will see some bigger and smaller villains sooner than later

    Also, am I the only one who thinks that we were just introduced to Luke Cage?!!! Criminal past, human test subject, changed alias… Those are all part of Cage’s orgin history and that was in the show.

    • It’s “The Rising Tide”.

      • Lol! Thanks!

  9. People hate this show more than I thought, the only thing i didnt like was that the Humor, at sometimes, didnt fit in the situstion

  10. It seems to me the SR writers are on a mission to proclaim that the world was underwhelmed by the pilot episode when for the most part it was very well received. Only place I really see railing against it is a couple pockets of fans, bloggers, and this site. I hardly think that outweighs the amount of positive feedback on the show.

    • 1UP

    • Agreed!

  11. I dont think SR really wants to hate on it. I just feel like it was extremely bland and to me it would have to pick up a great deal to keep me interested. I can see it falling off quickly.

  12. The pilot was not great but not bad.. I would like to see more nods to other marvel characters rather then avengers.. But hopefully that well change soon .. So I guess I will watch a few more episodes before I make a decision

  13. They just need to make the show tie in with the movies a little more. Focus on Coulson at first, then develop or kill off other characters along the way. They also need to portray SHIELD the way they did in the movies, as an ultra secret agency that makes me FORGET that it’s a Disney product. The first episode did the opposite for me.

    Also, have a couple of cameos here and there (like Fury or Stark) and introduce a few of the lesser known heroes and villains to keep the geeks interested.

  14. I was quiet enjoying the first 20 minutes or so but the cast really ruined it for me. Why oh why do Shield have annoying teenage agents working for them. That young attractive English scientist girl,, thats the worst piece of casting I’ve ever seen on a TV show, and her male counterpart with the awful dialogue and bad jokes, F**K OFF.

    Then we have our typical young gorgeous character who happens to be a hacker in a van,, (Who was also really annoying) and within 5 minutes she’s now working and helping out the most elite, top Secret Organisation on the planet, Come on,, what is she,,, 17 years old.

    This show seems like F***ING Dawsons Creek set in the Marvel Universe. What a horrible ensemble of badly written generic and irritating characters.

    Hey remember the scene when the guy with the super powers jumped out the window and said, “It’s an origin story”, Oh dear god, I actually laughed out loud.

    I love the marvel movies, I’m a huge fan and was looking forward to this, but they’ve dropped the ball big time, it really really sucked.

    With shows like Breaking Bad, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men etc etc, the audience expects well written and interesting characters with a bit of depth to them, not the run of the mill, seen it all before crap that was served up in this show. We weren’t looking for another Buffy the Vampire Slayer Joss

    • They should of cast some real actors with actual talent instead of pretty young models. The show is a classic case of Style over Substance.

      • And Barry M should HAVE learned that should OF makes no sense by the time he exited elementary school.

      • We’ll said

  15. Just to clarify ratings importance a little bit the demo is the only thing that matters its total viewr numbers mean almost nothing(as far as renewal or cancellation goes) so comparing it to the black list at all is misleading.

  16. Well I won’t need to eat for the rest of the day because I’m pretty full from the Crow I’ve been eating. 😉
    Even though I was wrong I’m happy that the show did great.
    Like mostly every Pilot this wasn’t perfect but I really liked it. It had Alphas/Fringe type feel to it and I liked those shows so I’ll keep watching.

  17. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. airs Tuesdays at 8pm on ABC.”
    I’ve been looking forward to hearing that for so long 😀

  18. I’m so glad to read some of these posts. I thought I might be the only one who not impressed. I found it to be uninspiring and somewhat plodding.

    I also have to agree w/some above comments. I didn’t buy the whole “girl’s-smart-enough-to-hack-into-a-high-level-Government-computer-system-but-lives-in-a-van” premise…Not to mention the fact she can operate so adroitly using wifi “borrowed” from the local coffee shop (my router’s about 200 ft. away and I have issue loading my email). I also found the whole “Lola-is-secretly-a-flying-car-” gimmick to be both predictable and weak.

    And another thing – We’re talking Marvel Comics here. Is it too much to ask for a more imaginative depiction of “super-human” strength than the “single-handed throw of a guy across the room” move a-la mid 1970’s Steve Austin?

    The biggest disappointment for me is that this ended up a Network show. And Network shows are neither as creative nor entertaining as their counterparts on cable.

    • So you won’t be watching it or commenting anymore? Good.

  19. Fell asleep. Taking it off my record list. All that build up for nothing. Sleepy Hollow on the other hand was great.

    • sleepy hollow is the epitome of bad writing.

    • If I had to rate it, it’d probably be 7.5/10.

  20. So everyone expected this to be the most amazing series ever?! Why? How about we give it a few episodes before we judge it?

    I loved seeing Firefly when they got on the plane. I’m not expecting to know all the characters in the first episode. I’m looking forward to getting to know them. In December, I will rate the series…

  21. The actors were really poor for me. Except clark gregg who imo is only good in small doses. Took me 3 sittings to fet through the pilot but ill tune in for a while tho

  22. Wasn’t very good

  23. Of course it won’t maintain its super-high ratings. People tuned in because they were curious. It’s not as if it’ll lose 90% of viewers, but the numbers will settle down. Obviously. It’s how these things work, right?

  24. The cast kinda ruins it. Except for Coulson.

  25. Two words:

    Colossal disappointment.

  26. Sucked ass hard.

    In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything suck ass so bad.

    There was so much ass sucking I put on extra underwear, just to be on the safe side.

  27. I really liked the pilot, it had a lot of great
    character development and put the characters
    Into interesting archetypes. Some of the acting
    Could use a little work but as long as the script
    Stays well written the show should be able to work
    Up a good fan base. An ensemble show like this relies
    On how captivating the characters can be not just
    Joss Whedon’s name attached to it. I think the casting was done pretty well, tho it’s a little too early to tell the range of some of the actors. I’m really hopeful for this show tho, it’s got great characters, cool gadgets, and has a good balance of comic relief.