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January 27 2017

The future of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. An optimistic look at the chances of the show getting another season.

The number of people who watch and enjoy S.H.I.E.L.D. far exceeds the figures that pop up the day after the stateside showing, something that networks are aware of and likely influenced by when making renewal decisions.


I don't think that influences a US network one bit. Personally I think the show will be back for a fifth and final season but it'll be a 13 episode run.
I'm not sure I am as confident as Simon, but I do agree that if the show is renewed it will be for a shorter run. I think there is a move toward shorter seasons almost everywhere but on the main network channels- Syfy uses a 12 or 13 ep season quite nicely, since it helps move the story along briskly. I hate that MAOS has been bleeding viewers, and I am no longer sure what benchmarks are used for decision-making- since there are now so many ways to actually view a show.

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2017-01-27 13:13 ]
I hope it gets renewed for any length of season - the more eps the better. The 10 pm time has made watching live difficult for me. I DVR it now. The season is good and I esp love Ada. They have good stories to tell and the cast is so great. I'll keep my fingers and toes crossed.
The overnight ratings at this point are equivalent to a mid-level CW show. The last 2 eps have gotten 0.6 ratings with about 2 million viewers. That's a bit worse than what Dollhouse was getting when it got cancelled.

I think the show may very well be back next year, but not on ABC. Even with the overseas market and all the other factors mentioned in this essay, a Big Four network can't devote a prime-time slot to a show that's getting those kinds of numbers. (Yes, it doubles its viewership with time-shifters, but even so the numbers are still terrible, and time-shifters don't watch commercials.)

My prediction is it comes back next year either as a CW or a Netflix show.

It's increasingly clear that the broadcast networks are the place for formulaic entertainment: procedurals, cookie-cutter sitcoms, reality shows. Genre shows like AoS belong on cable, premium or streaming.
This article is less an analysis of SHIELD's actual status and more of a list of bad excuses of why SHIELD's ratings are so poor.

It talks about international sales, but doesn't provide any numbers on how SHIELD's are better than most. DVR, iTunes, Amazon, Netflix, etc. Where are the numbers? Even the cast going to comic cons is used as an argument.

SHIELD tied a series low last night. It has barely half of the demo it started with.

I think the Marvel connection gets it one last season but its close.
My prediction is it comes back next year either as a CW or a Netflix show.


The CW only has shows from WB or CBS studios so that is out of the question.
Yeah, so probably Netflix. That's my bet.
Unfortunately, Disney will probably pull the plug on another great show. I hope I'm wrong though.
"It's important to remember (shocking as it is) that America is not the only country in the world in which people watch television." - My favorite part of the article. :)

@Ricardo L.: What's wrong with the argument of the cast going to comic cons? Comic cons don't exist just to make fans happy, they generate money. Things like paying for autographs from the cast, things like action figures - all of these things generate profit for Disney. That's what genre shows usually have over procedurals and sitcoms that the rest of the network's lineup consists of.

You don't need to see AoS' ratings in China to figure out it's popular. If it weren't, then these Coca Cola commercials (mentioned in the article) wouldn't exist: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQ0Cbm9PorQ
And one of the things Hollywood has certainly taught us in recent years is that American corporations care a lot about money from China.

Nielsen ratings are a really outdated way of judging viewership and popularity. Watching shows on TV, with commercial breaks and all, has long stopped being the only, or even the predominant way people watch TV shows.
What's wrong with the argument of the cast going to comic cons? Comic cons don't exist just to make fans happy, they generate money. Things like paying for autographs from the cast, things like action figures - all of these things generate profit for Disney.


Comic cons originate money... just not for the studios. They pay the actors to be there. I don't know a lot about this, but if you think they pay the studios please give me a source. Action figures, that is merchandise, is a different story. But again: where are the numbers about the MAOS merchandise? Just speculating it might make some money is not enough. I could speculate that they're being overshadow by more famous Marvel properties. Doesn't make it true.

You don't need to see AoS' ratings in China to figure out it's popular. If it weren't, then these Coca Cola commercials (mentioned in the article) wouldn't exist


Just as US is not the only country in the world, China isn't either. And yes, I would like to see some ratings.

Nielsen ratings are a really outdated way of judging viewership and popularity. Watching shows on TV, with commercial breaks and all, has long stopped being the only, or even the predominant way people watch TV shows.


This is TOTALLY TRUE. It's also irrelevant. Nielsen ratings - as of right now - continue to be the biggest factor (not the ONLY one) in the renewal decisions of the broadcast networks.

Look, I don't want to rain on anyone's parade here. The renewal is totally in the realm of possibility. I just thought the arguments the article used were not properly backed up.
IrrationalTV can you sense this thread?

Personally I doubt Netflix would take it either. One of the main reasons they said they didn't take Agent Carter was its regional contracts from TV prevented them from doing a global launch; that's become their signature way of dropping shows they produce themselves. I'd be cut off from it until it showed up on CraveTV which if you know anything about Canadian telecoms is a lazy oligopoly streaming service whose main purpose is to get shows away from Netflix and not actually be good for customers.

ABC's Tuesday/Wednesday blocks of sitcoms aren't going anywhere they just renewed The Middle I believe. Its Friday 8 PM sitcoms apparently do decently too and they love Shark Tank. They aren't messing with Shonda Thursdays either.

That either leaves it where is or move it to Monday after DWTS/Bachelor. Or worse case, Sundays at 9:00 or 10:00 where it'll be slaughtered by cable.

Since they are going big with the Inhumans 8 episodes I think SHIELD will be bumped until after them, that leaves it about 12-14 episodes depending on if they still do a two-hour finale or so. Whether it'll be the last I don't know. It'l hit syndication 88 the end of this year anyway, the number 100 is more symbolic and it could potentially end there with a shorter season.

[ edited by Dusk on 2017-01-27 18:24 ]

[ edited by Dusk on 2017-01-27 18:31 ]
I think it's worth Disney/Marvel's while to keep the show going, but not viable for ABC to continue being the one to show it. If the show does get cancelled, I think there's a good chance it would sort-of continue in the form of a Ghost Rider spinoff. That show would be a lot easier to market, and there would be plenty of opportunities for guest appearances by AoS characters.
Was I called? Who started the silly picnic?

AOS will get a full season order (eventually) next season and a sixth season to boot. It has to be 100%+ paid for by international deals, SVOD (streaming) and the new US syndication deal. This show is too lucrative (for Disney overall) for ABC to cancel it.
Also remember that ratings points (but not the points on that site you all use; those are meaningless garbage) on AOS are worth more than ratings points on some other shows because it hits a more desirable wealthy, educated demographic.

Relying on ratings info from TVbythenumbers in a vacuum for your picnicking needs is madness. ABC is not paid on those metrics and it isn't even in the top ten of triggers used in the cancel/renew decision making process anymore. But it is certainly great click bait ad-generating nonsense for that site.

Carry on.

On the Netflix question; the only way I see an ABC show like AOS going to Netflix is if Disney buys them which is not out of the question and may happen in the next couple years.

[ edited by IrrationaliTV on 2017-01-27 18:50 ]
I wonder why international audiences seem to like the show so much more than American audiences do.
Andrew, that just happens on some shows. I remember back when the International audience for Prison Break dwarfed the US viewership to a ridiculous degree. Those international sales kept it afloat when it never really caught on with a sizable US aud.
Think CSI or Baywatch. Why were those internationally loved?

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