Fox and WBTV put a lot of marketing clout behind their Batman prequel series Gotham, and now that the premiere is over and the reviews and reactions are rolling in, it seems that - for the moment - WB and DC Entertainment have another TV hit on their hands.
The title of our official Gotham review got fans into an uproar; to be fair, we sparked that blaze when we counted the Gotham pilot's success as another example of how DC TV is outdoing Marvel TV (at the moment). However, if that assertion was upsetting to you as a Marvel fan, here's a little something for your list of rebuttals: The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series premiere actually had higher ratings than Gotham.
Deadline reports that Gotham scored 8 million viewers for its premiere, with a 3.2 score in the coveted 18 - 49 adult demo. That's good, no doubt, but when DVR recordings are factored in, it seems that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. still started off with a bigger bang. (Head over to Deadline for the full numbers breakdown.)
However, any "Marvel > DC" boasting based on these figures would be premature. While both Gotham and AoS had huge marketing campaigns leading up to their premieres, the latter was riding shared universe ties to mega-successful Iron Man and Avengers movies - while the former has had to make the steep climb of being "that Batman show with no Batman."
On the flip side, AoS tried to sell audiences on mostly fresh or unknown leads; Gotham has pulled recognizable or fast-rising talent to play iconic characters, and lured a wider audience by doing so. To truly measure how the two respective series fared out of the gate, we'll need more info than first-week DVR boosts.
[EDITOR'S NOTE] It should be reiterated that, in general, the "DC vs. Marvel" battle is ultimately nothing more than something that should be used for friendly competition amongst passionate fans who can - at end of day - appreciate both camps. With nearly ten comic book TV shows (from various publishers) hitting cable, network and streaming services during the 2014 - 2015 season, fans of the genre as a whole will be the big winners. Let's keep that in perspective. [END NOTE]
As for that friendly competition we spoke of? Well, we get to see if Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. can't leave their freshman awkwardness behind, as season 2 premieres in its new (hopefully more adult-oriented) 9pm time slot. After that, Arrow season 3 Constantine and The Flash get to rack points for #TeamDCTV, before #TeamMarvelTV fires back with Agent Carter in January and Daredevil in May 2015. And so it shall go...
Gotham airs Mondays @ 8pm on Fox.
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. now airs Tuesdays @ 9pm on ABC.