‘Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ Isn’t Getting the Ratings it Deserves

Three Fools discuss Marvel’s signature TV property amid a promised tie-in to ‘Captain America: The Winter Soldier.’

Apr 7, 2014 at 4:00PM

Will fans ever return to watching Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. live? Host Ellen Bowman puts this question to Fool analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this week's episode of 1-Up On Wall Street, The Motley Fool's web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.

Agents Of Shield Deathlok

J. August Richards stars as Deathlok in Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Credit: ABC/Marvel Entertainment.

The latest episode -- "End of the Beginning," in which the agents go toe-to-toe with the cyborg menace known as Deathlok -- drew just 5.71 million viewers for a 2.0 ratings share in its 8 p.m. time slot, a season low. Worsening live viewership has pundits here at Fool.com and elsewhere grumbling about the future of the show. Nathan says there isn't much to worry about.

Instead, he says, the show is delivering tighter plots, more tension, and teasing new adversaries that promise to change the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For example, actor Patrick Brennan is set to play the villain Blackout in an upcoming episode. Internal strife at S.H.I.E.L.D. should also challenge the characters, delivering the sort of blockbuster ending for which Joss Whedon-produced shows have become famous.

Tim agrees, but also notes that the key for both fans and Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS) investors is in how well the show pays off on promised tie-ins to Captain America: The Winter Soldier. If the plot revealed on the big screen results in big changes on the small screen then ratings should improve noticeably. And if not? It'll be a huge disappointment, Tim says, especially given the amount of adrenaline Time Warner (NYSE:TWX) and The CW are pumping into their own comic book epic, Arrow.

Now it's your turn to weigh in. Are you still watching Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.? Why or why not? Please watch the video to get the full story, and then leave a comment to let us know where you stand. And be sure to check back here often for more 1-Up On Wall Street segments.

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Neither Ellen Bowman nor Nathan Alderman owned shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. Tim Beyers owned shares of Time Warner and Walt Disney. 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.

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