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February 12 2017

S.H.I.E.L.D on the Bubble: Keep or Cut? TVLine look at the show's current state, creatively strong but falling in the ratings.

Seems like this same discussion comes up every season of AoS. With the INHUMANS series coming up, seems like it would be pretty dumb to cancel the show and eliminate fun cross-over possibilities. I suspect AoS will run at least one more season.
IrrationalTv can give us all a long post about how the ratings this article quote mean absolutely nothing, I'm sure.
Live+7 ratings are not as terrible they regularly double their weekly ratings but the fact is ratings are falling. The show cant br cheap to make but a 5th season gives syndication options right?

Bubble indeed
Even doubled, the ratings are terrible. If the show survives it will be because of factors other than the American viewership ratings. It would be among the lowest-rated Big 4 network shows in history ever to get a renewal, if not THE lowest. (I think Dollhouse used to hold that distinction.)

Yes, there are other factors besides overnight ratings, but the fact is we consistently see shows with ratings like this get cancelled. The Netflix route is looking more and more likely to me.
@AndrewCrossett, don't think a Netflix pick-up is likely either. They passed on Agent Carter as well.
All I ask is that team gets enough heads up to craft a decent send off - whenever that final season comes. Nothing worse than the drama that expires leaving a handful of open threads / unanswered questions
1) Netflix is virtually impossible. The show already has significant foreign syndication and Netflix insists on having that.
And of course that doesn't even begin to address the question of what it would do for Netflix which, imo, would be very little.

2) Small ratings erosion over time is normal. But with the shift to non traditional methods of viewing the drop in the
demo seems a lot more significant. Drops of 2 or 3 tenths of a point in the total demo over the season are not that bad.

3) One other thing is that we don't have a handle on is the non main stream Nielsen viewing that is revenue producing such
as Amazon, Hulu, etc., etc..
The shift to a 10 PM slot has probably caused a lot more viewers to watch it time-shifted. Unfortunately, it's probably also caused a lot more viewers to drop out.

A short fifth season is a possibility, maybe setting up a transition to a Ghost Rider or Inhumans (Secret Warriors?) spinoff, which could include some members of the AoS cast.
I'm very pleased that most of you now understand that public US ratings are only a very small component of a renewal decision these days. :)
It seems to be about office politics.
I think it can be, Simon. No show on ABC (unless it comes from Shondaland) is a slam duck without very strong supporters in its corner. All shows every year are a negotiation.

Other tidbits of better info show that AOS is ABC's best performer in 18-49 L+7 growth. Only Quantico and the Shondaland dramas outperforms it in this metric. If you look at L+7 ratings AOS is always in the top 25 of all broadcast shows. And while L+7 doesn't usually translate directly to $$ it is the biggest (public) indicator of how well it does on all other revenue streams. It indicates demand for the show that is monetized in other ways besides AD sales.

It isn't going to Netflix or any other streaming service under any circumstances. That just won't happen.
3) One other thing is that we don't have a handle on is the non main stream Nielsen viewing that is revenue producing such as Amazon, Hulu, etc., etc..

I have owned and watched every episode on Amazon Prime from the day it became available. (One day after broadcast.). I also purchased the blu-rays for commentary. But I saw the show on actual ABC broadcast television for the first time two weeks ago, so they are definitely not getting much ad traction from me.

It was novel watching "television" again, but I doubt I will repeat the experience. Commercials are just unbelievably annoying and distracting once you get out of the habit of seeing them.
One thing I really want to know before I die is whether or not it is a high cost show to produce or not.
I personally don't think it is. Being neither costly or cheap but stuck somewhere in-between.

From what IrrationalTV has related in the past the show is profitable to ABC Studios and they would be inclined to keep it
going all other things being equal. The only real question is whether the ABC Network feels the same.

[ edited by JDL on 2017-02-13 22:33 ]
My understanding of how calculations of ratings work is very limited, so can someone tell me what exactly is a drop in the demo, how it's calculated, and what the previous and present numbers are?
The demo refers to the percentage of people in the aged 18-49 demographic which is the primary target for advertisers. All shows go through some erosion over the years and SHIELD's late night move also contributed. The Tuesday night ratings for the show are averaging 0.7 right now which is CW level; really low for a Big 4 Network. SHIELD's first episode back when it had the hype hit a 4.7 in the demo. That's an extreme comparison and erosion is normal in almost all network shows but the point still stands. This also reflects in the viewer numbers: 12 million for the 1st episode, 2-3 million now. These are currently Agent Carter level numbers and we know what happened there.

What's been said over and over to calm people here is that nightly ratings don't actually matter that much to people making these decisions and are more clickbait these days, the Live + 7 ratings (people who recorded the show an watch within the week) are among the highest for all ABC shows, it apparently does well with richer people, its international rights are worth a lot and Marvel/Disney synergy helps.

ABC's got an 8 episode Inhuman series committed for next year and is showing the first two episodes of that with IMAX I believe. Some are saying that's another bad sign for SHIELD but others say its good ABC is keeping with the Marvel brand and could create crossovers later on. Still others say this could mean less SHIELD episodes next year to make room for the Royal Family.

[ edited by Dusk on 2017-02-14 20:24 ]
US television is somewhat predictable in that the potential audience shrinks considerably in the second hour of prime time
and much much more in the third. This is so pronounced that Fox and the CW networks do not even broadcast in the 3rd hour.
It is very hard to compare ratings from prior years in a meaningful way because what's meaningful has been in constant state of
flux. For example if you go back 5-6 years ago DVR views were not monetized at all. Now in many cases the three day part of
it is. Another example is on demand from your cable company. That too is somewhat recent. Those numbers only show up in
reports we never see. My gut says that like DVR's this is becoming significant.

So yes the numbers are eroding, especially from the L+SD. But we don't know how many of those who have dropped live viewing
are totally gone or who may have picked it up from some other source.
On only a slightly related note, but it was brought up above - color me skeptical that the suggested Inhumans series ever sees the light of day. What started as a tent-pole movie in the MCU has been shuffled off to this odd hybrid of IMAX & network TV, a network that is seeing diminishing returns on its Marvel portfolio. Add to that the 'Royal Family' of the comics,(which do not resemble the Inhumans of AoS) would require a huge budget to pull off .... I can easily see this being shelved for review when ABC revisits the lineup this summer
The Inhumans has a straight to series order I believe. Almost impossible to back out of now. I don't know what the hell the development's been like but supposedly this is not based off the film script. Partnering with Imax gives them an extra reason not to back out and would suggest it has more budget then SHIELD; especially if they're premiering two episodes early in theaters.
Imax is underwriting a serious portion of the costs as I understand it so that explains part of it. But they announced
that shooting would start in March and we have yet to hear the first word about casting so it may be delayed.
Someone on Twitter has made this graph of AoS ratings throughout the seasons, overall and in the 'demo'.
@TimeTravellingBunny That only shows the public numbers which are only a fraction of the total. That said it does reflect the two drops that came with the time slot shifts. It is what it is.
The new head of ABC said in an interview recently about being a big fan of Shield, so I'm really not worried.

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