Agents of SHIELD Ratings: Marvel-ous?

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ABC debuted the most anticipated new show of the fall season last night, but did Marvel's Agents of SHIELD rack up the most viewers of the early new season?


The series premiered to 11.9 million viewers, falling just short of The Blacklist (12.6 million) on Monday. However, Agent Coulson and company did rate as the highest new drama to date among 18-49-year olds (4.6) and network television's highest-rated premiere among young adults since V.

By comparison, No Ordinary Family delivered 10.7 million and a 3.2 in the same timeslot two years ago, while Once Upon a Time delivered the network's biggest launch that same year with 13 million/4.0.

The Agents of SHIELD


  • The Goldbergs held on to about three-quarters of SHIELD's audience, garnering 9.1 million total households and a 3.2 rating.
  • Trophy Wife debuted to 6.6 million and a 2.3.
  • Lucky 7 was anything but, falling behind the pack with 4.6 million and a 1.3.
  • Dads fell 28 percent in the key demographic, while New Girl and The Mindy Project also saw decreases. Brooklyn Nine-Nine (4 million viewers, 1.8 rating) tumbled the most on Fox, falling 30 percent.
  • On CBS: Person of Interest drew 12.3 million and a 2.3 rating for its move to Tuesday, while NCIS: Los Angeles brought in 16.2 million and a 3.0, slight drops from last year's opener.
  • Chicago Fire also shifted to Tuesday and improved upon last year's Wednesday's premiere by one 40 percent across the board.

Did you catch the Agents of SHIELD premiere? Grade it now:

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.


@Michael - If you're asking whether I would have said the same thing if they had won the night, the answer is a definite 'yes.' Allow me to clarify: a series can have a stellar pilot episode with awesome potential, and follow up with a total clunker of a season culminating with a tragic cancellation. Or, a series could have a terrible pilot episode but turn out spectacularly. This is why I'm more interested in the ratings a few episodes down the line, rather than focusing only on the pilot. Furthermore, there are at least some viewers who want to watch both NCIS and Agents of SHIELD. (Not all NCIS fans are over 49, after all, and not all SHIELD fans are under that.) I'm curious to find out if the adjusted ratings for time-delayed viewership and online streaming make a significant difference as I suspect they might. This is a question I've been wondering pretty much since they announced Agents of Shield's time slot opposite ratings powerhouse NCIS. I hope my explanation clears this up for you.


@Matt: Is it possible to write the ratings like you did in the last years please? It was easy to read and compare it with the ratings from the previous weeks.


I wonder Dreamrose if they of won in the ratings would of said the samething


Frankly, I'm more interested in discovering Agents of SHIELD's ratings for episode 3 or 4. That'll be a good measure of its potential staying power. Pilot episodes often sees kinks that need to get smoothed out (see Babylon 5's pilot "The Gathering" or NCIS's backdoor pilot on JAG), so a series shouldn't necessarily be judged too much by it. I'll also be interested in the ratings adjusted for time-delayed viewing and online streaming; given that SHIELD is opposite NCIS, I suspect that the adjustment is not totally miniscule. Nielsen needs to catch up on modern technology and viewing habits!