Another Ratings Skid for Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

ABC drama has fallen 53 percent since its premiere

One of the first series to earn a back-nine order is starting to look like a candidate for cancelation.

ABC’s ambitious drama Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Tuesday fell to yet another series low, delivering 6.67 million viewers and a 2.2 in the adults 18-49 demo. And while the show’s live-plus-same-day rating was sufficient to tie it with NBC’s Chicago Fire for a respectable fourth-place finish on the night, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has dropped an alarming 53 percent from its premiere (4.7).

While the diminishing dollar demo is a matter of great concern for ABC, the network hopes to squeeze at least one more season out of the show, which was designed, in part, to serve as a promotional vehicle for Joss Whedon’s 2015 theatrical, The Avengers: Age of Ultron. (Whedon co-created S.H.I.E.L.D. and wrote and directed the pilot. The Sept. 24 broadcast was the biggest series premiere in four years.)

Season to date, only NBC’s The Michael J. Fox Show has suffered a more precipitous drop, falling 56 percent from its Sept. 26 premiere. 

While S.H.I.E.L.D.’s ratings slide is unfortunate, ABC isn’t pulling the show from the lineup any time soon. One of the first new series to be given a full-series order, S.H.I.E.L.D. is certain to meet its 22-episode commitment. A renewal, however, is another story.

Despite a slackening lead-in, ABC’s 9 p.m. comedy, The Goldbergs, rebounded last night, drawing a 1.7 in the demo, up two-tenths of a point versus last week’s episode. Trophy Wife inched up a tenth to a 1.2, while an ABC News special on the top political scandals of the century topped the second and final episode of time-slot precursor Lucky 7 with a 0.8 rating.

Fox’s two-hour comedy block had a rough go of it, as three of the four shows delivered series-low ratings. Leading off the night, Dads slumped to a 1.2 in the dollar demo, while Brooklyn Nine-Nine matched a series low with a 1.4 rating. New Girl dropped 15 percent to a 1.7 in the demo, while The Mindy Project slumped to a 1.4. All told, Fox finished last on the night among the Big Four with a 1.4.

NBC finished in a dead heat with CBS, averaging a 2.5 in prime time as The Voice delivered 11.6 million viewers and a 3.4 in the 18-49 demo. Lead-out Chicago Fire inched up a tenth versus its most recent original airing (Oct. 22), earning a 2.2 rating.

CBS continues to put up gaudy numbers on Tuesday night as TV’s most-watched scripted series, NCIS, scared up 19.4 million viewers and a 3.0 adults 18-49 rating. NCIS delivered the night’s strongest rating in its target demo, averaging a 4.4 among adults 25-54. Lead-out NCIS: Los Angeles was flat with a 2.4, while Person of Interest was up 5 percent (2.0).

On the CW, freshman drama The Originals improved 22 percent to a 1.1 rating while growing its share of adults 18-34 by 25 percent (1.0). Supernatural was up two-tenths of a point, notching a 1.1 in both of the relevant demos. 

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