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December 11 2013

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. ratings drop to lowest for episode 10. Which is not nice.

Down to a 2.0 in the key demo, which beats the previous low of 2.2. Also a big drop from the last episode 2 weeks ago (2.6).

After being away for a week. I'm guessing that's not good, but at least the episode was.


[ edited by Boto on 2013-12-11 18:13 ]
Agh thats bad. They really should have had the fall finale last week, opposite an NCIS rerun. I think they really killed the momentum they were building by having last week not be new.
I know those aren't great numbers, but it still comes in 2nd place against one of TVs top shows. That's got to count for something, right?
A lot of shows are bouncing around their "winter finale" episodes, throwing a rerun or two in between new episodes. And I think that's a pretty dumb idea. Not everyone watches the previews for the following week (don't want to be spoiled in any way) and just about everyone knows December is Rerun Month, so after the last new episode I have a feeling most people expect that to be it until January (or later) and so weren't aware last night was a new episode. I know that's the case for at least one person on a message board I go to.
It seems pretty clear to me that part of the problem is NCIS. On the night when there wasn't a new episode of that and there was of Agents of SHIELD it surged in ratings to it's highest since the premiere. So wouldn't it make sense to switch timeslots so it's not conflicting with NCIS??
Bad numbers, but I guess that's what happens when you screw around with the schedule so much.
Not really surprising that it dropped this week, given that there was a nonsensical re-run last week. It looks to be quite a big drop though.

Why is December considered re-run month in the US anyway? I can understand moving things around for Christmas programming, but that surely only really effects Christmas week and New Year week. Was there any particular reason last week was a repeat?

Not watched last night's episode, so can't comment on its quality, but it is disheartening that the ratings are dropping, despite the show improving consistently.
Vandelay "...but that surely only really effects Christmas week and New Year week."

Oh, if only that were true. There isn't a week this entire month where there isn't at least one "holiday special." Tons of cartoons (Rudolph, Frosty, new things like a computer animated retelling of "Yes, Virginia", Shrek, Ice Age and How to Tame a Dragon specials), music/awards shows up the wazoo, not to mention Victoria's Secret "fashion show," a "Sound of Music the Musical" live production...

And that's just on broadcast; I have no clue what holiday programming looks like on dish/cable.

[ edited by ShadowQuest on 2013-12-11 20:07 ]
Too many people are away from their sets in December. Mostly Christmas shopping. This actually starts after Thanksgiving and gradually gets worse.

I also think they should have gone last week. The NCIS episode, fwiw, was a very good one. I find it odd that the 4 US networks split this week and last very even evenly on new scripted shows and re-runs. Almost like they planned it.
The week off probably hurt it. I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of people thought it was off the air until January.

It dropped viewers and a tenth of a point in the second half hour. Final rating could be adjusted down to a 1.9.
"Why is December considered re-run month in the US anyway?"
I think it has more to do with how much time it takes to create an episode, especially if it isn't a half-hour comedy show. It roughly takes a week to create an episode (writing, creating the stage/props, filming, stunts, editing, soundtracks). I think it's convenient for networks and producers to try to make the show's hiatus fall in December because of the multiple holidays and traveling that takes place in this month can make it difficult to keep up with your favorite shows.
With all of that in mind, I think long breaks without new episodes can hurt ratings. If the show wasn't strong to begin with, viewers may not remember to start watching the show again in Jan.

[ edited by hpgwbtvs on 2013-12-11 21:10 ]
It's also the month after November sweeps, where the networks try and impress their advertisers with shiny new product.
So, is it conventional wisdom that ratings will have to take a significant uptick over the course of the second half in order to get a second season? I love the show, but it seems to be underperforming....perhaps a time slot shift is in order?
I don't understand the December reruns either, especially as most watch shows on their DVR anyway. And are they counting that?
I didn't know this returns in January.

The other ABC shows I watch are off until late February. (After the Olympics)

Good to know.
hpgwbtvs, it takes generally 8 days just to shoot an episode of an hour-long scripted show. Shoot days are Mon-Fri, so it's a week and a half. That's just principle photography, a show like this will likely have another 2-3 days of additional photography for 2nd unit, inserts, and/or reshoots. But that happens in the post-production process, which is about a month long, and covers editing, sound, music, etc...). Prep for the show is generally 8 days as well, happening while the previous episode is shooting. That's for costumes, props, the director, cinematographer, etc... The script will generally have a couple weeks to a month to get written before that. So 2-3 months to create an episode, but that overlaps with other episodes. Give 2 weeks between the finishing of each episode.

All of that can go out the window on any given episode. I'm sure most here recall the weekend that The Train Job was written in, for example.
I still don't think it's in danger of not being renewed at this level. If it falls consistently below a 2.0, it will be. But I think the network would probably re-tool before they would cancel.

[ edited by AndrewCrossett on 2013-12-11 22:49 ]
Season 2 is a lock at this point I should think. Beyond that is questionable at best.
I wish Alexis Denisof was joining the show, rather than Grimm. That isn't a Grimm diss, just you know, Homeland Whedon.
@rexlibris

DVR counts, but not as much as live viewing. This is still commercial television and advertisers prefer audiences who can't skip their ads.
I know I maybe guilty of clutching at straws, but I'm seeing chatter elsewhere to suggest that some fans didn't realise it was on last night.
^ Yeah thats what I meant about the screwy scheduling. People are getting confused whether it's a new ep or not.
Adjusted up to 2.1, 6.11 million viewers.
The past few weeks have been particularly nonsensical in terms of network scheduling. I've missed new episodes of other shows that I like to watch live. I wouldn't be surprised if that is a contributing factor. I think there's also been a long slow decline as the show's found its core audience, though.
Simon, I missed 25 minutes last night because I didn't realize it was on, so keep straw clutching b/c I think you're on to something - it's not the only show that's hard to keep track of.
I almost forgot it was on, until I saw the tweets. It's one of those things with US network TV - if shows started in January, they wouldn't risk loosing momentum due to reruns, but there would be a financial hit which makes it impractical.
Agents of SHIELD and Sleepy Hollow both had new episodes when I was away for Thanksgiving, a rerun the next week, then a new finale episode before going on hiatus until January. It's reminding me why I didn't watch tv live for years. I begin to think "well I could just marathon it all when it's on Netflix later rather than care about scheduling enough to follow this mess."
I'm familiar with the reasons why, but having regular ''weeks off'' does feel very strange from a non-US perspective. I'm not surprised people would get confused.
I always look at December as the glorious month I get to catch up on all the shows stacked up on my DVR and VOD (Revolution, Masters of Sex, Glee, American Horror Story and Parenthood) and all the shows I've yet to see on streaming services (The Guild, Orange is the New Black, Top of the Lake, etc.).

I'm a fan of the old hiatus. :)
These days there does not seem to be much sense in how programs are scheduled. One of the real problems with network TV, as opposed to cable, is that network does not repeat episodes each week, as is usually the case on cable- on cable, if you miss today's ep you might see it broadcast again in a couple of days at at different time, but that does not happen on network. Most network shows have these crazy interruptions.

Also, putting AoS up against the Olympics will not be a good thing. The Olys will draw huge for the 2 weeks they are on.
I watch a lot of shows On Demand, but I noticed that many of last week's episodes aren't there, particularly ones that had a repeat the week before. I think whoever is in charge of loading them lost track (not the first time I've seen it happen.)
*IF* the show keeps dropping like this in the ratings it *could* be canceled, though I think it won't fall much farther.

ABC has had a horrible couple years developing new shows, so it's not being moved off Tuesdays, at least this Season. And the only place to put it would be Thursday at 8:00 which is practically cursed for the network.

The Networks have had a September to May Season for a very long time, some shows used to have more eps. and before VCR/DVD/DVR etc. then reruns were a lot more popular. They've only had mixed success on the fallout from the decline in re-run popularity.
It would probably be impractical to move SHIELD this season as all Tuesdays shows are new, so SHIELD is in the lead in for 'em. It holds up the night. Next season (fingers crossed and all that), however, moving away from NCIS might not be a bad idea. That week NCIS wasn't on lead to a big boost.
NCIS casts
the Horror of the shade
Through it the show must wade
And who knows
where the road goes
from here?
I was thinking about ABC's Thursday 8pm revolving door, but then I remembered Big Bang Theory is there on CBS, and that and AoS probably have similar demo.
I would think that NCIS and AOS aim for quite different audiences, couldn't AOS potentially work well as counterprogramming to NCIS ? At least once the show finds its way.
Wouldn't it be nice to have Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on a Monday night followed by Castle? I'd like to think this is the last season for DWTS and that would be possible because I think both shows would boost each other but somehow I doubt it could happen.

As much as moving S.H.I.E.L.D. away from NCIS would be fantastic for S.H.I.E.L.D.'s ratings, I do have to wonder about it from ABC's perspective. There's nothing else they have now that would even come close to doing as well against both the biggest drama AND the biggest competition show on broadcast TV. NCIS and The Voice combined make it the toughest slot in the week for any drama to show to compete with, the only thing that would be worse would be Big Bang Theory I guess because they have all our desired demographic. So from ABC's perspective, S.H.I.E.L.D. is holding up very well given the circumstances and what else could they possibly put there that would do that? While we look at it as a bad thing for us (and it is) does ABC really look at it the same way or do they just see it as a success regardless of the fact that the ratings are lower for S.H.I.E.L.D. than they would be if the show had less competition. The bottom line is, they want SOMETHING to do well in that time slot, and S.H.I.E.L.D. is doing well enough for them to be happy right now.
ABC looks at its schedule on an overall macro basis comparing it to previous years and quarters. They will schedule what is best for the ENTIRE schedule not a particular show. If ABC's overall sched works better with AoS at 8 on Tuesday then it will stay there.
I'd like to think this is the last season for DWTS

I'd like to think it's the last season for The Bachelor... which is not only the most vile show in the history of television, IMO, but which always drags down Castle's ratings when it replaces DWTS in January.

Having AoS on before Castle would not only be a better fit for both shows, but it would keep me from having to accidentally see the last minute of The Bachelor when I tune in to watch Castle.
Actually Andrew, I think Castle's ratings remained stead even with Bachelor last season. I agree though, it makes me sad for humanity that people watch shows like that.

I was told once by someone at ABC that one of the reasons Castle isn't advertised much on the network is because they don't have any compatible shows to show promos during. How that makes ANY sense I don't know, I would have thought reaching out to ALL viewers would be a good thing, not just the ones who are probably already watching anyway but that was before S.H.I.E.L.D. and now I think they should be cross promoting both shows, show Castle promos during AoS ad AoS promos during Castle etc... Castle clearly skews ratings-wise to the female demo and AoS to the men and it would seem to make sense to try and attract some of each over to the "other side".
As fans, we should simply the let the marketers market as they see fit and as their creativity moves them; our job is simply to follow...

I say that completely tongue in cheek. So, just musing, why is it okay to tell the networks how to go ahead and market their shows- to market the way we want them to- but not the writers on how to write their show? Since they both are involved in commerce?

Boy, this thought came out of left field! Okay, I will go back to work now...
So from ABC's perspective, S.H.I.E.L.D. is holding up very well given the circumstances and what else could they possibly put there that would do that? While we look at it as a bad thing for us (and it is) does ABC really look at it the same way or do they just see it as a success regardless of the fact that the ratings are lower for S.H.I.E.L.D. than they would be if the show had less competition. The bottom line is, they want SOMETHING to do well in that time slot, and S.H.I.E.L.D. is doing well enough for them to be happy right now.

The thing is - you have to remember that a network like ABC isn't just confined to the shows that it currently has. Every year there are dozens - if not hundreds - of new show ideas just waiting for a chance to be picked up and brought to series, and I'm sure that if the big wigs stumble on something new that they think might be a better use of resources than something they already have... fingers crossed.
The only reason I saw the ep is my DVR automatically recorded it. I had not idea it was on this week.

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