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TV Ratings: 'Agents of SHIELD' U.K. Debut Is Channel 4's Biggest Drama Launch of Year

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Smulders Gregg - H 2013
ABC/Justin Lubin

The British broadcaster said the Friday launch averaged 3.1 million viewers.

LONDON -- The U.K. launch of Marvel's Agents of SHIELD helped Britain's Channel 4 to its biggest drama launch of the year.

The broadcaster said Saturday that the Friday 8 p.m. debut averaged 3.1 million viewers, or a share of 14.2 percent of people watching TV in the U.K. at the time. That is above the time slot's typical performance for the network.

TV REVIEW: 'Agents of SHIELD'

The show also "drew the largest share of 16-34 year olds from 8-9 p.m ... with a 27 percent share," the network said.

The show's Tuesday night U.S. debut on ABC drew the highest ratings for a new drama in years, attracting more than 12 million viewers. The strong performance came despite such competition as The Voice on NBC and NCIS on CBS.

The show from producer, director and co-writer Joss Whedon is Marvel’s first live-action TV series. It follows the adventures of a team of agents working for a global law-enforcement agency.

The series stars Clark Gregg as Agent Phil Coulson, a character known from Marvel's  Avengers.

"Like the superhero universe from which it has come, Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD is big, bold and absolutely exhilarating," said Channel 4 chief creative officer Jay Hunt when the network announced the acquisition of the show last month. "Featuring the production values you’d expect from Marvel and ABC Studios, this is family entertainment at its most exciting."

E-mail: Georg.Szalai@THR.com
Twitter: @georgszalai