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April 09 2014

Ratings for last night's episode of Agents of SHIELD. The show got a 1.9/6 in the 18-49 demo.

Hm, no bump from The Winter Soldier then. I guess that makes sense, since if you aren't invested in the show it doesn't really affect you either way. You know the MCU is going to deal with this in Age of Ultron, Captain America 3, etc.
That's very disappointing. Especially considering the reviews I'm reading, which are marking this as a series high point from a quality standpoint. Hopefully they'll be revised upwards later.
I do think it's getting better and I'm pretty sure it'll be renewed so the lack of a bump may not make things worse for the show.

[ edited by the ninja report on 2014-04-09 16:48 ]
I posted here earlier this week saying I didn't think there would be a bump, and sadly that turned out to be right. I think TV is a strange beast compared to movies.

This episode has great word of mouth and I think it will do big business on DVR and online as a result.

PS: despite the reporting, it isn't a series low. It got 1.7 before.
Is it possible that people avoided watching the episode because they hadn't seen The Winter Soldier yet? I told my friend not to watch the episode yet since he didn't see the movie this weekend. I guess that wouldn't really affect the Nielsen numbers too much. Just trying to be optimistic.
I think its interesting to follow the live ratings but considering the audience, where and when they watch a show factors in big time. The post live show numbers matter a lot. I know more and more people my age (28) who no longer have cable service and have switched to online viewing because its just ridiculously expensive to have cable service where as online you can pick and choose the content easier.

Also these are preliminary numbers. I'm sure there will be a bump when they finalize the data by the end of the day. But again, post live show numbers are a big deal as is word of mouth and trending stats.

As for last night's episode, I was blown away by the qualitative leap, the twists, and the pacing. Also, THEY MADE AGENT WARD INTERESTING! Finally. :-)
I know I didn't watch live because I hadn't had a chance to watch Captain America yet, but I don't think people making the same choice as me would make a huge difference.
It was the first genuinely solid episode IMO, but all of my friends jumped ship back in December, so I'm not surprised.
I am one of those who didn't watch the episode because I haven't seen Winter Soldier yet.

Tying an episode that closely to a movie is a double-edged sword.
Suffice to say, I think people will either return for season 2 after hearing throughout the summer and fall previews that "we swear, it really did get better!" or they've given up entirely and the show will need to focus on people who never watched any of the first season.
This surprises me, since Winter Soldier was basically SHIELD: The Movie and a ton of people saw it.

Maybe too many people thought they'd be lost if they tried to jump in this far into the season. Maybe they can make a big deal out of the next season premiere being a good jumping on point. New spies! New enemies! New mission!
Couple things:

I never anticipated this was going to be a boffo box office hit, just given the history of sci-fi/hour long dramas, so there is a measure of expectations being skewed from the get go

Movies and TV are different beasts and I'm dubious that a hit movie has much bearing on ratings (or sales of the source comic material for that matter)

Finally - it appears the competition also dipped, which means any flat/dropping numbers have as much to do with the season as the perceived quality impacting numbers
I'd be very shocked if it was cancelled. Disney/Marvel would not want their tie-in to the MCU die off so soon and Joss's pull with Marvel is probably a big factor. If the show can keep up this momentum they might get some of the viewers back come September, and the break may give them enough time to reflect on what worked and what was a hinderance.

Would I would hope for is a later start date to avoid as many annoying breaks. This model built around Sweeps hasn't worked well for a while now.

Other ABC shows like Once Upon A Time did 11 episodes late September-mid December with almost no weeks off and now 11 episodes from March to May. Those ratings have held steady for a while now, on a Sunday night which is especially bad for things that aren't sports. OUAT is doing two seperate plots in each half of the episodes, this may or may not work for MAoS depending on how related to the movies it has to be down the line, but it would probably tighten the writing.
I completely disagree that The Winter Soldier was basically SHIELD: The Movie and that audiences who saw the movie should care about Agents of SHIELD. They're not on the same level of importance, as far as Marvel is concerned (or viewers, for that matter). The MCU always comes first and Agents of SHIELD will always be plotting around it.

[ edited by the ninja report on 2014-04-09 17:39 ]
My biggest problem with the show vs the movie is that they really don't look the same. It never felt like the SHIELD from the movie was the same as the one from the series. Even with the appearance of Sitwell. I love the show, but really doesn't look as big.
Ragondux, I agree. One of the reasons SHIELD made a good jumping off point for an expanded universe was because it could be done with a relatively low budget. Age of Ultron is going to be shot in at least four countries. The only show that has been able to do that consistently is Game of Thrones. It's just not ever going to look like a movie. However... one of the more distracting factors has always been how cheap the CGI plane looks. So I think I would have rather seen the show set at The Hub instead of a plane, and for Coulson and his team to deploy themselves to the Bus as necessary, limiting our need to see the depiction of the plane.

[ edited by the ninja report on 2014-04-09 18:46 ]
I am very surprised. I did not expect a bump but I really did not see a dip coming after last weeks episode. It looks to me that this 'game change' needed to happen 6-7 episodes previously. By this time of the year too many people had already dropped it.

[ edited by JDL on 2014-04-09 20:42 ]
I know a number of people who didn't watch the episode because they hadn't seen the film yet. I specifically went to the film opening weekend so I could watch the episode - usually I wait a few weeks.

The scaled down TV budget may work for them now, if they're a little independent offshoot of a defunct corporation.
Any word on adjustments yet?

redeem147, were you involved in a blog's Buffy re-watch in 2011? If so, this is the same Dusk!
It's now a 1.9.
1.7 -> 1.9

Once again, the final ratings were adjusted up. It is 1.9. Still down from last week, but not a series low anymore.
TVByTheNumbers got the numbers.
Wonder if the crazy internet buzz on this weeks episode will help with the repeat next week.
I don't plan on seeing the movie until it comes out on Netflix, so I went ahead and watched the episode and basically spoiled the movie for myself. Personally, I resent the idea that I need to see a movie to enjoy a MAoS episode. I knew this was the idea from the get-go, but I still resent it.
This episode of made Agents of SHIELD the best show on television. These are not the ratings it deserves.
Aftet watching winter soldier a day before I am glad. Whilst you don't need to watch shield to understand winter soldier I feel like you almost needed to watch winter soldier to understand shield. Was surprised this episode aired when it did. Another week or two to allow buzz from the movie may have benefited.

Amazing episode though
@Raeven7 - I agree. I suppose it was unavoidable to have such a large crossover though, given the plot of Winter Soldier.
Hi Dusk! You are referring to Nik at Night? (Nikki Stafford)
Thought it would get more than a tenth bump. Still no worries about a 2nd and 3rd season from me. AoS is still a top performer for ABC.
Yeah that's it and it's me! I just joined yesterday, is there a PM function or something so we can talk without crowding out these comments?

I was expecting a bump too, but I'm not worried.
I said that Winter Soldier was basically SHIELD: The movie because of the amount of exposure SHIELD got in the movie. Cap, Black Widow, Fury, Sitwell, Maria Hill, Sharon Carter, Crossbones, Armin Zola and Robert Redford's character all work for SHIELD. Since Fury hired Batroc and Winter Soldier worked for Redford, even those villains worked for SHIELD. Actually, the only people in the movie who didn't work for SHIELD or on behalf of SHIELD officials were Falcon and that salesman in the Apple store.

The whole plot is about the infiltration of SHIELD. There isn't a single scene of the movie that doesn't have somebody in it who works for SHIELD. They say the word SHIELD about a thousand times.

That's huge exposure for SHIELD. I figured a few people would watch that and say, "Maybe I should check out that show named SHIELD that I haven't bothered with yet."

[ edited by Jason_M_Bryant on 2014-04-10 01:19 ]
Sigh, the ratings are getting ugly now aren't they. Just when the show was starting to find some life in it.
This crossover stuff is doing the show more harm than good. Anyone who is not interested in the movies (let alone the comics) and who has not seen the first Captain America movie will suddenly be faced with a super evil organisation (HYDRA) that comes out of nowhere with ZERO explanation and NULL motive. To those people, the last episdoe was one big FU in their faces. No doubt ratings are dropping.
I haven't seen the movie, and my reaction to being suddenly faced with HYDRA was much more F-yeah than FU. There will always be some people upset with the direction a show goes, but this episode seems to be getting heavily favorable reviews. Over 90% of reviewers on IMDB have given this episode a 9 or 10. Less than 1% have given it a score under 5. The question is whether this will get some people to check out the show again, or if it's too late to get them to come back.
I think it's pretty clear contextually HYDRA is bad.
They spent half the season referring to the organization as Centipede, then they just focused on the Clairvoyant. To someone who didn't watch the movie, the only thing the Hydra reveal does is give their enemy a formal name. The actual threat has been solidly built up all season. I agree with the others that there's no harm from the crossover.

Also, it just occurred to me that even though a centipede isn't quite like a Hydra, it is a squirmy thing with a lot of appendages. I like that.
Okay, @Jason_M_Bryant given your insight about the similarities between amphibian monsters and anthropods monster, I might be okay with the switch. Maybe there was just confusion about the proper name to give the big squishy monster.

I also skipped the movie too and just watched the episode. It was fine. I don't mind being spoiled so I was comfortable with what I saw. I just wish I didn't feel such pressure to run to a movie to keep up with a fandom. I know that this is something I do to myself.

I really missed the boat on understanding this new crossover business but I now have learned. I'm not sure I'm happy with it. Movies are extraordinarily difficult for me to get to because of my life circumstances. I literally planned months out for the Avengers release and Harry Potter's final installment. I had sitters lined up for months. Tickets were purchased well in advance. Schedules were arranged.

I caved and watched -- primarily to find out what was up with Garrett and Ward, etc. I may have to wait for Cap 2 on DVD. Having watched the episode and being completely spoiled for the movie has lessened my desire to get out and see it. NOt sure if that was Marvel's intended effect.

I do think the old style of TV programming is fast becoming obsolete. for most genre shows. Yes, the audience for Voice and NCIS do demonstrate that the 22 ep model accounting for sweeps months works for some shows. If A of S had hit a grand slam right out of the park with this initial season then this model could still work. It hasn't. It's had growing pains so I think A of S needs to adopt a schedule with less episodes and less breaks. It's never going to be a ratings grabber now so they need to make the best use of the available resources to make a great story. Smaller seasons and less breaks do that, IMO.

[ edited by hann23 on 2014-04-10 15:39 ]
IrrationaliTV is right. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is in no danger and there will be both a second and third season. Beyond that actually depends more on where the next phase of the movies go than it does on the ratings. If the show still has a story to tell by that point, it'll continue. If not, it may end and be replaced by a new series more in tune with the events of the time.

But Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will need to go much lower than it currently does before it is in any danger of being axed. Ratings will always be a factor in anything television related but AoS has the benefit of being part of a much larger story telling machine. It doesn't stand alone and thankfully Marvel, ABC and Disney all have their own reasons for wanting it around.
Not sure if it's already been mentioned but SHIELD won the key demo again, so that's good.
BadKarma, if people don't care about comics or the Marvel movies...why are they even watching Agents of SHIELD?
One other thing, the numbers fell quite a while back. They've been steady for longer than they've fallen, meaning the current budgets (with the awesome dogfights and stuff) have been given following the "lower" ratings. It's doing bank somewhere.
Jaymii, budgets are set long before the season starts airing. But it doesn't matter really. I'm sure the show is fine. 2nd season is a no brainer and I expect a 3rd at the very least.
Why do shows generally look better at this point of the season? Just a simple shorthand developed between the producers and designers? Thanks for the correction.
It takes a while for everything and everyone to gel. Every new show is basically a start-up company employing hundreds of people trying to figure it out as they go along. Takes a bit to point everyone in the same direction. :)

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