ABC Network Chief Says Marvel's AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Tested Well

ABC upfronts are happening at this very moment but we've wrangled a few quotes from the network's president about Joss Whedon's Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Continue on if you're curious about episode count, network competition and other minutia.

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By Mark Julian - 5/14/2013


Per Deadline, we have a quote from ABC president Paul Lee who said, "Last year, we had very similar comedies airing agaist each other. Now we have a blockbuster show at 8PM as (ABC comedies are tackling) areas nobody is."

Per Televisionary [The Daily Beast], we have word on a possible episode count for not just Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (M.A.o.S.) but all new, original ABC shows as well as talk about inevitable hiatuses. "Originals are being run in batches of 12 [episodes] with a gap," said the network president. The site goes on to report that Lee stated that limited series will fill those gaps. From that report, it appears that M.A.o.S. will have a run of somewhere in the neighborhood of 24 episodes with at least one hiatus after the ~12 episode. But of course, television depends on ratings and if any of the original shows underperform, expect them to be ended during its first batch of 12 episodes.

Expanding more specifically on M.A.o.S., Lee stated, "We don’t normally talk about testing, but [Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.] tested so well in all four quadrants [of the television demographic]. Joss Whedon knows how to create great television with great relationships at the heart of it. It has relationships and humor but also the promise of the Marvel franchise… We think it’s driven by character and will bring a wider audience to us."

As far as competition from other network stations in that same Tuesday, 8 PM timeslot, Fox is airing a new comedy Dads, and NBC will be airing The Biggest Loser but CBS will be airing ratings juggernaut NCIS. Said Lee on the competition with NCIS, "Every single hour on the schedule is up against competition. We think it’s going to recruit a whole new audience coming in [and] we think it has a built-in audience… We don’t think it has the same audience as NCIS and we have high hopes for it on Tuesdays at 8 p.m.” NCIS regularly commands upwards of 18-20 million viewers each week.



Clark Gregg reprises his role of Agent Phil Coulson from Marvel’s feature films, as he assembles a small, highly select group of Agents from the worldwide law-enforcement organization known as S.H.I.E.L.D. Together they investigate the new, the strange, and the unknown across the globe, protecting the ordinary from the extraordinary. Coulson's team consists of Agent Grant Ward (Brett Dalton), highly trained in combat and espionage; Agent Melinda May (Ming-Na Wen), expert pilot and martial artist; Agent Leo Fitz (Iain De Caestecker), brilliant engineer; and Agent Jemma Simmons (Elizabeth Henstridge), genius bio-chemist. Joining them on their journey into mystery is new recruit and computer hacker, Skye (Chloe Bennet).

Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Marvel’s first television series, is from executive producers Joss Whedon (Marvel's The Avengers, Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Jed Whedon & Maurissa Tancharoen, who co-wrote the pilot (Dollhouse, Dr.Horrible's Sing-Along Blog). Jeffrey Bell (Angel, Alias) and Jeph Loeb (Smallville, Lost, Heroes) also serve as executive producers. Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is produced by ABC Studios and Marvel Television.


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Extremis - 5/14/2013, 10:56 AM
i want it to perform well.Right now we all need good CBM related TV Shows.there are so much less content on TV which is CBM related.
marcvader1 - 5/14/2013, 10:59 AM
There should be a Marvel network somewhere running movies, tv shows, and cartoons.
luffycapri - 5/14/2013, 10:59 AM
Sounds good to me !
Tymminator - 5/14/2013, 11:02 AM
Awesome. Can't wait.
REDSTORM - 5/14/2013, 11:02 AM
Running up against NCIS and The Biggest Loser? Welp...
NovaCorpsFan - 5/14/2013, 11:03 AM
When will this air in the U.K.
gillri - 5/14/2013, 11:03 AM
in terms of quality this will be somewhere inbetween Mutant X and Season 3 of heroes
sephiroth211 - 5/14/2013, 11:04 AM
Can I get a Punisher series on HBO where he roams the earth like in Kung Fu? However he won't be making nice like grasshopper did...no this fool will be taking it to organized crime with a 45 slug. I'd much rather watch something like that then this show. I'm not a hipster, so this kinda crap doesn't appeal to me.
scootaloo - 5/14/2013, 11:04 AM
@marcvader1
So basically a channel to host Ultimate Spiderman and reruns of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes and Superhero Squad?
Omarvls - 5/14/2013, 11:07 AM
Marvel's X-Files/Fringe
SpectacularJoShFest - 5/14/2013, 11:08 AM
That pool looks great, Weewee. And that blue flower pot isn't bad either.Mmhhhmm.
Curmudgeon - 5/14/2013, 11:08 AM
Could be worse... Could've been in ABC's Thursday 8/7c Death Slot.
Amazing512 - 5/14/2013, 11:10 AM
Trust me: Marvel will have no problem owning Tuesday nights.
BlanketMan - 5/14/2013, 11:13 AM
Up against NCIS? Yikes. The pilot better be excellent, as that may be its one and only chance to pry viewers away from that aging hit. Its gotta make a great impression right out of the gate...
kevberg - 5/14/2013, 11:14 AM
are you kidding me? that hokey ass NCIS does those numbers...i just cannot believe it. its a goofball show with weak... i mean WEAK writing.


wow.
marcvader1 - 5/14/2013, 11:16 AM
@RedlanternAtrocitus yes indeed. Plus all the other toons and shows they've had since the late 60's.
Digitaria51 - 5/14/2013, 11:16 AM
AWWWWWW C'MON!!!! I liked that pic!!!
FoxForce5 - 5/14/2013, 11:17 AM
I think NCIS will be some competition but M.A.o.S. should do very, very well. Besides, that's what DVR is for...
scootaloo - 5/14/2013, 11:19 AM
@marcvader1
Sweet. Then other channels wouldn’t have to suffer from those shitty shows.
DrDoom - 5/14/2013, 11:23 AM
Show me a network executive that says their new show tested terribly

Doom's word is law
MarkJulian - 5/14/2013, 11:24 AM
That was clearly a nipple lol.
Equivocal - 5/14/2013, 11:24 AM
agents of Shield for tuesdays ???

GREAT !!!

I'm off on tuesdays !
MrHulkSmashin - 5/14/2013, 11:26 AM
@DrDoom - if a show isn't aired, then we can assume it didn't test well.
Omarvls - 5/14/2013, 11:27 AM
So it seems like DC finally will get their shared universe with MOS which seems like a BLOCKBUSTER
but this is still Marvel's World
Iron Man 3= 1st Billion Dollar + movie that
is not Avenges
Thor Dark World= Vikings in Space
Captain America WS= Mission Impossible with Super Heroes
GotG= Marvel's own Star Wars
and that is just Phase 2
marcvader1 - 5/14/2013, 11:30 AM
@Redlanternatrocitus Those show's aren't on any channel so you don't have to concern yourself with that.
MrHulkSmashin - 5/14/2013, 11:31 AM
@WeNeedRevelation - what if a SHIELD agent got into some legal trouble and Matt Murdock was their attorney?
Chewtoy - 5/14/2013, 11:36 AM
Ouch. NCIS is the #1 show in total viewers every week.

I guess it shows a certain amount of confidence to slot Agents of SHIELD up against it... Or at least the hope that you're going to bleed away younger viewers.

What it doesn't show is a desire to nurture a new series into being a big hit. It's very much a sink-or-swim deal for the Marvel show.
MarkJulian - 5/14/2013, 11:39 AM
The baby boomer generation dominates network television and they apparently love anything CBS puts on primetime.
MarkJulian - 5/14/2013, 11:39 AM
Full hour.
Inhuman - 5/14/2013, 11:57 AM
First 2 seasons is probably set during Phase 2
NoAssemblyReqd - 5/14/2013, 11:57 AM
Wow. Putting it against NCIS is pretty gutsy. I think the show will definitely premiere at the top spot but how will they be able to spin it if/when NCIS's loyal audience doesn't make the switch for the entire season?

Yeah, NCIS skews older, but Marvel had better play the "its-a-totally-different-demographic" game wisely.
Millenium - 5/14/2013, 12:03 PM
i hope it does well, Arrow is good but the CW relationship drama that is mixed into it really hurts the pacing and the tone of the series. been waiting for a great marvel series for YEARS!!
TheAbomination - 5/14/2013, 12:57 PM
They're going up against The Biggest Loser and two shitty Fox sitcoms. Good luck.
beane2099 - 5/14/2013, 1:16 PM
The cast looks like a typical group of twenty something actors you'd see on an ABC show. I mean I know that's the trend or whatever, but then I guess that's what Whedon's bread and butter is. I'm totally watching this, but I ain't sure how well it's gonna do unless there are episodes that tie in with the movies.
KeithM - 5/14/2013, 1:49 PM
Obviously it will need to be good to maintain it, but there's absolutely no doubt in my mind that initial interest will be huge and the pilot will pull in big numbers.
Fantine - 5/14/2013, 2:03 PM
"Joss Whedon knows how to create good televison" ok ill give you Buffy thats a classic. But Dollhouse? Firefly?
rocky - 5/14/2013, 2:28 PM
It's our job to recruit as many viewers as possible :)
SwingsetKnight - 5/14/2013, 2:31 PM
@ Theodora: If you're seriously saying Firefly was bad, I'd start running now before the Fillion fans find out. Seriously, the internet is obsessed with that show.

Anyway... yeah, NCIS might be a small problem, but it's more of a middle-aged show. SHIELD is guaranteed to appeal to more of a youth audience. Hopefully there won't be too much of a problem.
KeithM - 5/14/2013, 2:49 PM
@Theo: Dissing Firefly? Put the dunce hat on and stand in the corner please. Dollhouse we'll give you, but I haven't seen it, so will have to take your (and the 'masses') word for it - although right now your word doesn't seem very reliable.
PeterParker1991 - 5/14/2013, 2:50 PM
Guess I better mark my calendar..
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