If Disney (NYSE:DIS) Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. were a bowler, it'd need just one more strike for a perfect game.
After returning with an all new episode Tuesday following its four-week midseason pause, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. just marked its 11th consecutive win in the valuable men's 18-34 demographic. In addition, ABC says, the show spiked 16% in adults 18-34 from its last original episode.
As usual, however, CBS' (NYSE:CBS) NCIS once again won the night's top spot in the overall adults 18-49 demo, earning a solid 3.0 rating as 20.84 million viewers tuned in live. Meanwhile, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. settled for second place in the hour with a 2.2 rating on 6.63 million live viewers, good for a slight improvement over the midseason finale's series-low 2.1 live + same-day rating.
Keep in mind, though, that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has made a habit of gaining ground later as millions of additional people watch through their DVRs. In fact, based on the latest live + 7-day figures, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. went into this week's episode as Tuesday's highest-rated series overall, with a 4.8 rating in adults 18-49. By comparison, NBC's The Voice currently sits in second place with a 4.6, while CBS' NCIS stands third at 4.2.
To CBS' credit, it's admittedly more difficult to gauge the exact value of comparably novel DVR viewership numbers. But given the fact DVR penetration has risen by 2 percentage points to 49% over the last year alone, it still appears to bode well for newer shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., which formerly would have had their work cut out for them in convincing droves of dedicated fans to defect after years of watching well-established series like NCIS.
But that's also not to say Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. absolutely needs those viewers to succeed. To the contrary, Disney should be more than happy given the show's obvious appeal to younger adult males, which already makes it an advertiser's dream and should all but ensure a second season.
And for those of you worried it may not be able to maintain its momentum after Coulson's big reveal, I'm convinced it'll continue outperforming going forward. After all, the show's creators have not only promised it'll delve deeper into the Marvel Cinematic Universe going forward, but those of you who stuck around for the end credits know Marvel's also planning big things for next week's episode.
Can't wait? Here's the sneak peak ABC aired Tuesday:
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.