Remember when Marvel’s “Agents of SHIELD” was a smash hit in its early episodes on ABC? We thought for a brief period of time almost like this was a show that was an unstoppable force. If only the quality was as good the first five or six episodes of the series as it is now, we don’t think we’re even having a discussion about whether or not this show is coming back. Even with that, we don’t really think that there is any serious danger for the show now. While there are maybe a few scenarios in which we see it ending, the odds of those playing out right now are fairly small. Given its recent ratings, though, it still merits discussion in our Ratings Debate series.
The case to keep it – This is simple: Marvel. ABC and Marvel are both owned by Disney, and this is corporate synergy like no other. It’s a chance to introduce many smaller characters on the show, and also use this as a platform for other potential shows. “Agent Carter” was spun to a certain extent off of this and “Captain America: The First Avenger,” and there may be another super-secret spin-off coming next season as well.
Also, the show performs very well in DVR viewing, has an avid following, and also performs well internationally. There are just too many things that the show is doing right at the moment to justify cutting the cord now and ticking off Marvel, who is working more and more with Netflix.
The case to cancel it – The ratings aren’t great, but they are still better than “Nashville,” “Revenge,” Secrets & Lies,” “Forever,” and “American Crime.” The only real issue the show could have is one of dollars and cents. This is not a cheap show to make, so there is probably a higher expectation of success here than there is one of the other shows that we mentioned. None of those have the same sort of special effects as we have here.
Verdict – SHIELD lives to fight for at least one more season. We do worry about it making it more than three or four years on the air, but it may actually be better for it to burn out quickly, and then make way for a different Marvel story to be told.
What do you want to see happen to SHIELD? Vote in the poll below, and click here to read some other Ratings Debate pieces! Also, you can sign up here to score some further TV updates on all we cover via our CarterMatt Newsletter. (Photo: ABC.)