Why Disney Thinks It’s OK for AGENTS OF SHIELD’s Ratings to Drop

We love it when business types – writers, publications, website, whatever – analyze the thinking behind showbiz decisions. These guys always look at everything in terms of its financial bottom line – How much will it cost? How much will it make? – instead of art or creativity. And as a result, they’re thinking just the way studio chiefs think…which means they’re always just about right.

How wonderful!

How sad…

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by Steve Symington

Don’t believe the naysayers, Marvel fans. Your favorite new television show is doing just fine. And parent company Disney (NYSE: DIS  ) is just fine with the results.

To be sure, if you’ve read the recent headlines, you probably wouldn’t think so. A quick web search for last Tuesday’s ratings bears mostly gloomy tidings along the lines of “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ratings Continue to Fall,” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Ratings Dip to New Lows.”

And on the surface that’s true.

Though Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. managed to secure the second-place spot during last Tuesday’s 8 p.m. hour by a wide margin, it did drop to “just” 7.03 million live viewers and a 2.5 rating in the overall 18 to 49 year-old demographic. Meanwhile, CBS‘ (NYSE: CBS  )NCIS grabbed the top spot with a 2.9 rating and an incredible 18.98 million viewers, while NBC’s The Biggest Loser trailed a distant third with a 2.1 as 6.82 million people tuned in.

Kinda makes you wonder why Disney’s ABC made the decision last month to pick up Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. for its full first season, right? After all, why lock in a show that’s performing successively worse with each passing week?

Here’s why Disney couldn’t be happier
To be sure, it’s hard to criticize CBS and NCIS for pulling off the monumental task of drawing the eyes of nearly 19 million people each week.

However, its sheer numbers can only go so far, and that’s why “overall” ratings can be a tad deceiving. When you dig deeper, there are several reasons Disney is happy to have Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on its side.

First, consider the fact that last week’s episode marked the the sixth consecutive time Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has ranked as Tuesday’s number-one show in the key men’s 18 to 49 year-old demographic. In fact, season-to-date, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is also currently ranked thenumber two overall broadcast entertainment series in men 18-49, behind only CBS’ long-standing favorite, The Big Bang Theory.

What’s more, ABC says, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also boasts incredible staying power as this season’s second-biggest adult 18-49 broadcast gainer in TV playback — once again trailing only The Big Bang Theory — while adding 2.1 ratings points, or 62%, from its “live plus same day” and “live plus seven day” viewership.

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One thought on “Why Disney Thinks It’s OK for AGENTS OF SHIELD’s Ratings to Drop

  1. Rreed423 says:

    I’m trying to hang in there with Agents of Shield, but I have to ask: In the Marvel universe, full of superpowered characters both good and bad, your show is about a bunch of not very interesting normals?

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