Marvel's "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." Ratings Top NCIS

Despite its standing as arguably the most hyped show to hit the small screen this fall, the success of Disney's  (NYSE: DIS  ) new Marvel-inspired Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. certainly wasn't always a foregone conclusion.

Disney Stock, Agents of SHIELD
Image source: ABC

To be sure, though the series started off strong, drawing 11.9 million viewers and earning a 4.6 ratings share in the key 18-49 demographic for its debut, it raised eyebrows across the industry last week after fewer than 8.7 million people tuned in to the second episode, for which ratings dropped by almost a third to 3.3.

Meanwhile, both NBC's The Voice and CBS' (NYSE: CBS  ) hit drama NCIS held up substantially better and continued to dominate during their second week on both metrics, grabbing ratings shares in the 18-49 demographic of 4.5 and 3.5, respectively. After that, many were left wondering whether the novelty of third-place Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. had simply worn off.

After all, given the widespread success of its big-screen counterpart in Marvel's The Avengers last year, millions of people were bound to at least check out the first episode only to realize it wasn't nearly as exciting, right? So, as the thinking went, it would seem to make sense if Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. continued dropping as more established popular shows like NCIS resumed their usual domination.

Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. might be stickier than you think
But then, in true superhero fashion, the left for dead Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Tuesday did the unthinkable with its third episode: It came back to actually beat NCIS by a tenth of a ratings point with a 2.9 in the coveted 18-49 space. What's more, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also came just a tenth of a point behind The Voice.

To be fair, however, both NCIS and The Voice still boasted a higher total number of viewers last Tuesday at around 18.3 million and 10.2 million, respectively, compared to the only 7.9 million viewers who turned on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D the same night. 

However, we should remember there's a reason television ratings place so much focus on shows' abilities to maintain the attention of the disproportionately valuable 18- to 49-year-old demographic.

And that's not only great news for excited comic book enthusiasts who now have a compelling reason to tune into prime-time television, but it also obviously bodes well for Disney investors.

Remember, as I pointed out in August, Disney stated last quarter its ABC network remained the one weak link in its massive Media Networks segment, which collectively accounted for more than 46% of the company's total sales and 68% of its operating income in fiscal Q3.

In the end, though, regardless of how many people ultimately tune into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. every week, you can bet Disney will be happy to keep it on air as long as the show can continue winning where it counts.

So rejoice, Marvel fans, because I think the fun is only just beginning.

Here's how to give your portfolio its own super powers
The world can't get enough of superheroes. Super powered movies have been some of the highest-grossing films of all time, and as these franchises continue to grow, the numbers are only going to get more impressive. The Motley Fool's new free report "Your Ticket to Cash In on the Superhero Battle of the Century" details what you need to know to profit from your favorite superheroes. Click here to read the full report!

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2676250, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/27/2016 4:45:54 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,228.30 133.47 0.74%
S&P 500 2,159.93 13.83 0.64%
NASD 5,305.71 48.22 0.92%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/27/2016 4:01 PM
DIS $91.72 Down -0.24 -0.26%
Walt Disney CAPS Rating: *****
CBS $52.05 Up +0.92 +1.80%
CBS CAPS Rating: ***