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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
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November 06 2013

Overnight ratings for Agents of SHIELD episode 1.06 "F.Z.Z.T". Down to a 2.5 rating in 18-49. Bummer.

Still fine.

(Though if S.H.I.E.L.D. is ever going to increase in the demo, it's next week. The show finally has an episode most people seem to like. If it doesn't get a bump, I don't see it really gaining any ground back.)
It has a nice stretch too of eps this month too. Let's stabilise or rise, come on!
I'm quietly pessimistic at the moment. It's a slow erosion. It's still going to tick up when finals are released, and I think it's still going to be renewed because it's the only new hit on ABC this year, but I see Aos as a two-season show at this point. It's going to function as a bridge to The Avengers: Age of Ultron and that's it. The show is still wrongly perceived by the public: on the show's Facebook page the main gripe is that Aos is boring because of the lack of superheroes and movie-level bombasticness.
Which is funny, because I think it's boring due to being too concerned with the Marvel movies to actually carve out an identity for itself. I don't care about superheroes; just make me like these people.
The fact is that Whedonesque audience and the general audience seem to want two completely different things. I'm with you on this: except the occasional guest star and the cross-promotion with the movies, I want the show to be its own beast.

On TheFutonCritic ABC has released its statement on demo success.
I believe a bunch of shows slipped coming back from hiatus. It's to be expected. Not everyone has a DVR and if they do, they don't always keep up with what is recorded.

And I agree with TheDarkShape. Small, small steps here. I love the connections with the MCU but the very first, tiny step needs to be for this show to make me actually care about these characters.

[ edited by the ninja report on 2013-11-06 18:21 ]
Yeah, almost all shows yesterday night came back lower from their previous episodes. Still, a true success for Aos would be getting steady around 3.0.
The fact is that Whedonesque audience and the general audience seem to want two completely different things.

I imagine it's like that with ABC, Marvel, and the Whedons. It's why, even if the show doesn't become something I really enjoy, that I wouldn't blame Jed, Maurissa, or Joss -- there are so many cooks in this kitchen.
Funny thing is, all the things I love and like about this show have nothing to do with the Marvel Universe. In some dark corner of my mind I feel bad because I think Joss & Fam are being held back by the franchise connection and I'd much much much rather have this be a show with no ties to existing property.

I still secretly hope Joss does cable one day. None of the network routine BS, even if it means tiny budgets. We don't need shows with big explosions and VFX each week. Those always are just small little breathers between the wonderful talky bits.
I think the franchise connections are one of the things that will drive people to watch the show. The problem is, this is not what will get people to like the show. Marvel has done a fine job of having audiences like its characters. This show lacks that right now.
Up 32% from a year ago (ish, the next week because election coverage was all that was on exactly a year ago)... Context is everything. Picnic on that, people. :)
The show might have been a large hit. And it still can, I hope the buzz with Tv Guide and the Thor connection brings the good buzz back. Of course, if in finals it gets back to 2.7 we'll talk about a completely different situation.
Half hours don't look good. 304,000 people tuned out. Don't think it will be adjusted up this week.
If I'm not wrong the previous adjustments had to do with the episodes going into the 9 pm slot.

If people haven't been grabbed by this, that's been arguably been the most engaging so far, I don't know what will. That's my reason to picnic.
AoS will be the first new ABC show to get picked up for a 2nd season. Improvement with men and 18-34 is astounding. Improvement over last few years in that timeslot is fantastic. It's a personal choice to picnic but it is in no way warranted.
FYI for new people, picnic is a euphemism for panic here, which I think originated in the Dollhouse ratings threads. Someone suggested we picnic instead of panic, so nowadays they've come to mean sort of the same thing. I like to think the picnicking is a more pleasant version of worrying that involves tiny sandwiches though. Ratings always feel like scrying to me so I try not to put much stock in them.
I might not really understand the ratings system - but aren't those numbers, although decreasing, still very high? What about in comparison to DC Comics' 'superhero-themed' shows Arrow and Smallville, the first of which seems to be an ongoing success and the second of which lasted for a grand total of 10 seasons - weren't overall viewer numbers less for those shows than they presently are for AoS?
Arrow (now) and Smallville (then) aired on the WB/CW, which is a much smaller network than ABC and so what it constitutes a success for them is vastly different from ABC's standards.
AoS is in no danger, but it clearly is not a ratings smash. And it is only a small cog in a larger machine, so my feeling is that despite its reasonable ratings, it is seen as a small part of a larger effort by Disney/Marvel to create a worldwide presence related to its comicverse. My own feeling is also that it will not see significant future growth; it seems to have found its core audience and it is not likely to steal viewers from a long-established show like NCIS. And it is drawing nearly the same number of viewers as Biggest Loser. Much as I hate to note this, even my Marvel-loving friends are not watching this show.
AoS' renewal is ensured by a lot of factors: Marvel's success in its all-format line, the fact that it's produced in house, it's a big international seller, but I hoped for it to become a smash hit that it's not at the moment. Especially a watercooler hit show, something that's culturally relevant. Of course, ABC may find incredibly precious value in a show that gets huge numbers from the male market where they're sorely lacking, and may be satisfied with that section demo already.
To add to Perseo's comment, you can also look at networks like AMC. Mad Men's last season finale got 2.7 million viewers. ABC would have cancelled a show a long time ago for that low of a number, but on a small network like AMC, Mad Men did very well.
Mad Men did well because advertisers were willing to pay well and overindex for the detailed demographics that watch Mad Men (highly educated and affluent). ABC will charge more for AoS ads for the same/similar reasons. AoS can actually get lower ratings than shows like NCIS and generate more revenue for ABC than its competition does for CBS depending on how many advertisers will pay a premium for the hard to reach eyeballs of men 18-34. We, of course, don't have those details and we shouldn't have them but it's not as simple as a 2.5 vs a 2.7.
Supernatural is the go-to example of a successful show for the CW. A couple millions in its ninth season, and if they keep this up, it will go on and on and on. Essentially it's up to Jared and Jensen to call it quits.
Yeah, it's very hard to tell how much money a network is making from a show purely based on ratings numbers. ABC publicly said they wanted a more male skewing show and clearly targeted younger viewers (and co-viewing with children - "four quadrant") based on the content of the show (latest episode opens with some kids having a camp fire). And it does well in those areas. Apparently it's #2 in 18-49 for guys. So there's that. And, well, Marvel make some dosh by selling it to approaching 200 networks worldwide. And Marvel are owned by Disney, who own ABC.
Anyone complaining about these ratings for ABC is bringing their dissatisfaction with the content to the data discussion. (IMO)

ABC wanted this show for males and younger demo - it's getting that. It wanted to certainly improve where it was historically in this time slot and it's getting that. It wanted to create a larger tie in to other on-going Marvel properties and it that's scheduled to take place w/ Thor & Cap story beats

Is it a runaway ratings smash phenom? No. Is anyone at ABC getting night sweats about what's gone horribly wrong? Unlikely.
I'm loving the show, much, since the beginning, and episodes 4 to 6 clearly show a quality upswing towards a more complex narrative. I would imagine the ratings would follow the same pattern, but alas, that's not the case, hence my scratching my head. They should be MORE viewed than the first 3.

I'm quite sure, like Gossi said, that the show thrives on the specific demos ABC are targeting and the international appeal, and those will be the pro factors towards renewal.
No, no one at ABC is even thinking about cancelling this show, and if it keeps at the currently level it will be fine. But I still think they'll be disappointed that it lost 2.0 in the live demo over 6 episodes (and half total viewers, even though . Its fine and they probably be content for now, but they wanted it to be Great considering it was by far the most hyped thing this season and its still slightly sinking most episodes.

Oh, and in general take ABC press releases with a pinch of salt, the can sometimes get pretty amusingly creative "proving" how happy they are with a show.
ABC wanted this show for males and younger demo - it's getting that.

It's on a downward path and continues to be on a downward path. I don't really agree with him -- the dips are small enough that I think stabilization is very close -- but a friend of mine who's better with this stuff than I am thinks it's going to be pulling a sub 2.0 demo by spring.

This show is not sustainable if ends up pulling in a 1.8-ish demo on Tuesday nights.
Frustrating. I thought last night's episode was strong and am sorry more people didn't see it. Seven-day still coming up, yes?
It just seems not to connect with the audience at large. I want to be optimistic, I really do, but I have this feeling that Aos will follow the Sarah Connor Chronicles or V model and end with S2. And that would bea pity, this show could run for a lot.

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