Although "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." debuted to record-breaking ratings -- it was the highest-rated drama debut in four years -- it wasn't able to hold on to its success for the second episode. According to TV Line, the Marvel Cinematic Universe television series' second episode dropped to 8.4 million viewers (down from the pilot's 11.9 million) and had a 3.1 demo rating (down from the record-breaking 4.6). CBS' "NCIS" beat out "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." this week in both total viewers and in the demo, despite both being down from the season premiere.
While a drop from the premiere numbers was hardly unexpected, the fact that "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." dropped so drastically in viewership -- over 30 percent in both viewership and rating -- is somewhat disappointing -- and not only because 34 percent fewer people missed out on the major cameo from one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's heaviest hitters. Although it's still early days for the fledgling show and the ratings for the second episode are by no means bad (for comparison, Fox's comedy slate on Tuesday night all scored lower in both viewers and rating than "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."), it's slightly unfortunate that "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." couldn't beat out "NCIS" -- a show that's very much in the same genre -- after getting a better rating in the demo last week in the same timeslot. Time will tell if the iron is still hot for "Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D."
That said, these numbers likely do not include time-shifted viewing, and only numbers from the eastern/central viewing times. The numbers will likely be adjusted once all data is in from all time zones.
"Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." airs Tuesdays on ABC