8:11am PT by Michael O'Connell
TV Ratings: 'Agents of SHIELD' Top Drama Since 2009, 'Chicago Fire' Grows, 'Dads' Drops
ABC's Agents of SHIELD launched on Tuesday night, and Fast National ratings have the much-hyped series taking in the biggest demo rating for a scripted series thus far in the very fresh fall season.
The premiere of Joss Whedon's Avengers offshoot, Marvel's first TV effort since becoming part of ABC's Disney family, averaged a 4.6 rating among adults 18-49 and brought in 11.9 million viewers in the network's previously neglected 8 p.m. time slot. In the demo, it now ranks as the top network drama premiere since ABC's V in 2009.
SHIELD managed to top big competition in the hour from both The Voice and NCIS. And as CBS noted in one tweet, the Big Four brought in 47.9 million viewers in the 8 p.m. hour -- good news for all.
ABC saw inevitable declines across the night, though the drop proved quite steep by 10 p.m. Freshman comedies The Goldbergs (3.2 adults) and Trophy Wife (2.3 adults) followed the buzzy drama in the network's second attempt at comedy in the hour since last season's ill-fated moves for Happy Endings and Apt. 23. Goldbergs boasted strong retention and status as the best comedy launch in just over a year -- though more viewers were gone by Trophy Wife. Drama Lucky 7 fizzled in its debut at 10 p.m., averaging a 1.3 adults rating.
Overall, the network tied CBS in the demo for the night for second place -- an average 2.9 rating with adults 18-49. ABC also averaged 8.1 million viewers.
The Voice and NBC were still the big victors for the night. Falling five-tenths of a point from Monday's massive premiere, the two-hour auditions episode averaged a 4.6 rating among adults 18-49. That's a 15 percent improvement from the Tuesday debut last fall. Boosted by its enviable new lead-in, Chicago Fire jumped 47 percent from its year-ago series premiere with a 2.8 rating among adults 18-49. The score was enough for the Dick Wolf drama to easily win the hour.
NBC dominated the nightly demo averages with a 4.0 rating, giving the network its first premiere week Tuesday win since 2005. In all, the network brought in 12.5 million viewers. With consecutive nightly wins in the demo, it also marks the first time since 1988 (Seoul Olympics) that the network has taken the first two nights of the season.
CBS stalwart NCIS returned with a 3.4 rating among adults 18-49 and the biggest audience of the night, 19.4 million viewers. The show was down 17 percent from last year's premiere (4.1 adults). NCIS: Los Angeles (3.0 adults) was also down, though just 11 percent, leading into time slot newcomer Person of Interest.
With a 2.3 rating among adults 18-49, Person of Interest lost much of the traction it had on Thursday nights and was down from both its year-ago premiere (2.9 adults) and Vegas' debut (2.5 adults) in the time slot last fall. CBS topped the night in total viewers with 15.98 million.
Fox comedies were not helped by the rest of the Big Four airing originals. In their second episodes, Dads (1.5 adults) and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (1.8 adults) fell a respective seven- and eight-tenths of a point. New Girl (2.1 adults) also dropped eight-tenths of a point, with its first-week DVR growth easily outpacing its neighbors, and The Mindy Project (1.5 adults) dropped just three-tenths of a point. The network averaged a 1.7 rating with adults 18-49 and 3.7 million viewers.
Whose Line Is It Anyway? brought a 0.5 adults rating to The CW, down four-tenths of a point, while Capture dropped two-tenths to a 0.2 in the demo. The network brought in a 0.4 adults 18-49 rating and 1 million viewers for the night.
Univision averaged a 1.2 rating with adults 18-49 and 3.1 million viewers. Over on Telemundo, the network pulled a 0.5 demo rating and 1.2 million viewers.