Marvel's 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' Ratings: Can Coulson's Big Reveal Deliver?

A new episode tonight of Marvel's top-rated "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." promises big things. Here's what you need to know.

Jan 7, 2014 at 2:55PM

*Warning: This article contains spoilers!

Disney Marvel's Agents of SHIELD ratings, CBS NCIS

Ruth Negga and Clark Gregg in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as Raina & Agent Phil Coulson, Image source: Disney/Marvel

Attention Marvel fans: Your favorite show is about to provide some long-awaited answers. Are you ready?

To be sure, the Dec. 10 midseason finale of Disney (NYSE:DIS) Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. left viewers hanging after the shocking abduction of Agent Coulson.

And according to lead actor Clark Gregg, tonight's new episode will finally reveal how Coulson was resurrected for the show -- you know, after Loki shanked him to death on the big screen in Marvel's The Avengers.

In fact, Gregg asserted he had to wait months -- just like his fans -- before finding out what happened to his character. At the same time, however, the star insists he thinks fans will be happy, saying:

We're going to get a big fat window at the real truth, and it's going to be very, very surprising. When I read the sequence, I just stopped and put the script down and went, 'Wow. That was worth waiting for.'

What's more, the fallout of the reveal will permeate the remainder of this season, effectively setting up a sticker plot line for fans.

Here's the end-goal

Naturally, the folks over at Disney and ABC are hoping that'll translate to a nice ratings boost for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., especially considering the Live + Same Day rating for its midseason finale fell to a series-low 2.1 in adults 18-49, with a total of "just" 6.11 million viewers.

Then again, that was largely thanks to the perennially massive viewership for season 11 of CBS' (NYSE:CBS) NCIS, which garnered a 2.9 rating on 19.3 million viewers during the same hour.

But that's also not to say Disney is unhappy -- remember, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. so far has improved its time slot for ABC by 86% in adults 18-49, making it the network's top-rated program in the hour in four years.

Better yet, after accounting for DVR viewership in the most recent Live + 7 day numbers, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s 4.8 rating means it goes into tonight's episode as Tuesday's highest-rated series overall for adults 18-49 this season. Meanwhile, NBC's The Voice earned a close second with an impressive 4.6, followed by a distant-third 4.2 rating for CBS' NCIS.

Alas, that hasn't seemed to appease most of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s critics, who can't seem to look past those widely used, increasingly obsolete live + same day numbers.

Of course, Disney wouldn't complain if more NCIS viewers jumped ship tonight. But even if they don't, I'm convinced Marvel fans should rest easy knowing Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. will be just fine.

In the meantime, here's a sneak peak of tonight's new episode:

Here's how you can profit

It's clear Disney and CBS are making millions from their respective shows, but did you know you can benefit, too?

If you want to figure out how to profit on business analysis like this, the key is to learn how to turn business insights into portfolio gold by taking your first steps as an investor. Those who wait on the sidelines are missing out on huge gains and putting their financial futures in jeopardy. In our brand-new special report, "Your Essential Guide to Start Investing Today," The Motley Fool's personal finance experts show you what you need to get started, and even gives you access to some stocks to buy first. Click here to get your copy today -- it's absolutely free.

Fool contributor Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Walt Disney. The Motley Fool owns shares of Walt Disney. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.


Compare Brokers