Posts Tagged ‘television’

Agents-of-SHIELD-TAHITIWell, that was disturbing…

Like all televisions shows, even the best ones still have to take a season to truly find their feet and AOS has been doing exactly that… I’m just not sure I like where they are standing.

All season there has been a push towards there being something rotten in SHIELD, little things here and there, especially with the circumstances around Coulson living and Skye’s backstory. Then you have the Winter Soldier trailer which basically flat out accuses SHIELD of becoming the bad guy. Now we have TAHITI which is an episode that holds up a neon sign that says there is something seriously corrupt inside SHIELD what with their secret facility (that was way too easy to find if you ask me) and their Leech meets Source Code blue guy floating in the tank.

(You’re telling me that all this tech going on down there, the production of chemicals and drugs and the like, and there is no scientists on duty? Just too guards? Unless the place was mothballed, which it clearly wasn’t, their should have been way more people there. This smells like either a set up or lazy writing.)

Speaking of lazy writing, I was really hoping that this show, when it finally stopped being all about Skye, would try to be clever and unique like much of Whedon’s work. Instead, we get the tried and true “we secretly work for a corrupt company/government” storyline. Yeah, it can be effective, but it’s been done so much, especially lately. If this whole backseason is going to be nothing but them ‘fighting the man’ then I will be disappoint…

But at least it won’t be ‘the Skye show’ and we can get more from everyone else. Always a plus side to everything…

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. "T.R.A.C.K.S."Simmons should never be let off the bus… and is Stan Lee a pimp now?

Truly, Simmons getting a little too method acting in her undercover role was both priceless and a source of second-hand embarrassment. It was pretty funny though. You can just see the look on Coulson’s face… he was definitely thinking “I died for this?”.

The biggest issue though was the constant backtracking. I have nothing against the back-track in story telling, when you go back and show everything from someone else’s POV, but it’smost effective when done once (like in Leverage) or, at the most, twice. Here, it was done three times not counting the original timeline. It started to get real annoying, real quickly. Thankfully it was saved by little moments here and there between the characters.

This brings up the dynamic of May and Ward’s ‘just sex’… Coulson really schooled Ward on that one, but in the end, I don’t really care. This relationship could be pretty awesome and fresh in how it deals with these kinds of tropes, but it’s being shoe-horned into some kind of weird love-quadrangle and that means I do nothing but roll my eyes.

Though this episode gave us a pretty killer ending. Micheal is turned into Deathlok and Skye is shot. I’m not sure a pressure tank works like that, but hey, it’s Marvel, whatever works. I thought this might trigger whatever Skye’s special ability is but it looks like they are playing the long con. I must say though, the scene played out quite nicely, just enough shock and awe.  This is doing a lot to repair Skye’s character from being the annoying one to being the tolerable one.

Oh, and Simmons attacking that guy and taking the grenade, awesome character moment there though I’m afraid we probably won’t see much more from it, that’s how this show seems to be running right now.

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Agents-of-SHIELD-SeedsToo Cool For School? Bad puns just can’t help themselves…

AOS continues to be stronger this second half of the season. We get another non-Skye-centric episode that didn’t feel like it was trying to be a non-Skye episode. Our team heads back to the S.H.I.E.L.D. Science Academy to hunt down a prank gone wrong. It’s nice look into how S.H.I.E.L.D. works but at the same kinda odd. I mean, if you go by Thor 2 (the most recent MCU movie) S.H.I.E.L.D. still isn’t that well known across the world unlike the CIA or NSA which every British person has heard of even if they don’t understand their particulars. Yet, in this episode, SHIELD has not just one, but several independent Academies that seem about the size of a City College at least. Yeah, NSA, CIA, they may have specific training camps and stuff but nothing on that scale, they usually hire out of University rather than doing it all themselves… yet SHIELD is still “a secret” according to Darcy?

Considering what happened in NYC I’m sure Darcy is the odd one out here but I can’t help be a bit nitpicky.

Anyway, I had a point, didn’t I?

Ah, yes, this episode was well rounded in how it was laid out and presented the characters. Skye’s story finally moves forward, giving us some interesting information about the circumstances of her being orphaned. Because we actually have forward movement in her story rather than lateral, this episode avoids more ‘annoying Skye-time’ pitfalls that we saw throughout the first half of the season.

Also, the other characters are finally becoming part of the episodes rather than part of ‘character-theme’ episodes. Basically, everyone is really starting to mesh and work as a group, character wise.

Was the story itself all that thrilling? Not really… it lacked the umph of scenes like the spinning room, but it shows that this show knows how to be more cohesive. A great sign for things to come.

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Agent Melinda May - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. "A Magical Place"Always trust May, she’s got this.

The second half of the season starts off with giving us the best episode yet. First off, Skye is not the most annoying character ever. She does get a fair amount of screen time but she’s actually being useful and productive rather than just running around whining then suddenly saving the day with her ‘mad hacking skills’. The way she gets what she needs in this episode is interesting and fun. For once I’m not rolling my eyes at her. Ward on the other hand…

But more importantly, in this episode, we learn about Coulson’s death… because he apparently did actually die, but Nick Fury does not take ‘death’ as an answer.

Coulson went through several operations to bring him back to life, seven at the very lease, and the brain surgery scene we saw was only the tip of the iceberg. But here’s the thing, if they took his skull off like that… why isn’t there a scar? There is no way they put the skin back on and completely avoided even the hair growing a little strange… unless they are saying that MCU medicine is just that good? It’s possible, they did bring a man back to life. Or maybe something more sinister is at work. It was pointed out that Let Me Die = LMD and Life Model Decoy = LMD. Coincidence?

There is still a lot more here they aren’t telling us but at least they gave us plenty to keep us satisfied for now.

Hopefully the improved quality of this episode is signs of better things to come in the future, but with the teasers pointing to being more about Skye and her background… ugh.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.This is what you call a slow simmer to a boil. But I don’t think the stew is quite ready yet. Though I bet it’s going to taste fantastic.

Metaphor aside, I realize I haven’t reviewed “Repairs” yet which was Episode 9. That’s nothing against the episode, it was just the last week of NaNo and I was in crunch mode, big time. I’ll review it during the hiatus. At the moment I want to talk about the mid-season finale.

The point of the mid-season finale is to give us a reason to come back in one (two-ish) months. “The Bridge” certainly did that. Not only do we not know what happened to Mike, but Coulson has been captured… in possibly the worst S.H.I.E.L.D. op in history.

Seriously, I know that they had the whole “no police or the kid gets it” kind of set up but this is freaking S.H.I.E.L.D., the fact that they waited to put the comms on, the satellite wasn’t already tasked, that they didn’t do something other than just sit in the van with one, ONE, sniper trained on the bag guys, and no one made the Helicopter, you know, the thing that can be heard for (well, it’s over water, so humid, plus echoing off the bridge) half a mile?

It just… I just… what? I know they are supposed to be a super team… but what? Sorry AOS, but your logistics really failed me on this one.

As for your story telling… it was pretty bland. It was all set up to get you to the bridge and the capture of Coulson. Even with a fight scene in there, it was too early and too straight forward to be very exciting. Then you have Skye’s constant whine and whatever the hell is going on with May now. They pulled out the “you don’t need to protect me since we’re sleeping together” trope with May and Ward and they tried to be clever about it, only to fall flat.

Even the capture of Coulson seemed a little too neat, but I think that might be on purpose. Coulson is a clever man and Mike is trying to be a good man. I have a feeling some of that was staged (it would explain the lousy op). At least I hope it was otherwise the scene literally played way too connect the dots to actually be interesting.

It seems though that we’ll actually get to find out what is going on with Coulson in the second half of the season, so, yay! Unless they’re just trolling us… one can never be too sure.

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vai CBR


To say “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” has received a critically-mixed response is something of an understatement. While it’s certainly not the most panned new show of the 2013-14, there have been a number of high profile negative reactions from fans, critics and comic creators (most notably Jim Steranko). Despite the decidedly tepid reaction, however, ABC quickly extended the series for a full season order, and the chance of renewal is high, given that it’s the only show currently competing for ratings against CBS juggernaut “NCIS.”


Critical reaction aside, the question remains: How is “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” actually performing in the ratings and viewership since its record-breaking premiere episode? While the numbers certainly didn’t remain as high as the premiere, it’s by no means a weak show, and is actually stronger than many folks realize.


Before digging too deep into charts and graphs, it’s important to understand what these numbers mean. Nielsen ratings represent a percentage of viewers in a given age group; if a show gets a 2.6 rating for adults 18-49, it means that 2.6 percent of all 18-49 year olds watched that show during its live airing. Relatively simple.

While 2.6 percent might not seem all that impressive at first glance, keep in mind that — as of 2010-11 — Nielsen determined there were 131 million adults in the 18-49 age bracket. So that 2.6 rating in 2010 meant 3.406 million people watched the show during its live airing.

Why is the 18-49 demographic the most important? The short answer is that most ads are tailored to that age group, in large part because they’re the people most likely to spend money. The higher the percentage of 18-49 year olds watching a show, the easier it is for networks to sell ad space and get more revenue out of a series.

That said, live ratings no longer give as complete a picture of the health of a series as they once did — the advent of the DVR and next-day streaming services like Hulu can increase viewer numbers and ratings significantly, though how much it influences a network’s approach to renewing a series remains pretty much unknown.

Another term to be aware of — especially given that the most recent one just ended — is “Sweeps.” These ratings periods involve Nielsen sending out paper television viewing diaries to households across the country, helping provide a basis for program scheduling and advertising decisions for local television stations, cable providers and potential advertisers. Sweeps periods take place in November, February, May and July.


With all of that in mind, the following graphic charts the viewer numbers and ratings of live “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” broadcasts. All charts are for Live+Next Day adjusted ratings, and all viewer numbers are represented in millions. The total is a combination of Eastern/Central and Pacific airings.

 As the chart indicates, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” began with its series high and slowly declined to its lowest point for episode 7, “The Hub.” It worked its way back up to end November sweeps on the highest rating in the 18-49 demo the show had in three weeks and the second highest viewer numbers overall. While it’s unknown exactly what contributed the the recent bump in ratings and viewers of last week’s episode, there are two major factors that may explain the upwards trend. First, the impending Thanksgiving holiday, where viewers may have begun vacationing early, giving them more free time to tune in. Second, the previous episode’s tie-in to “Thor: The Dark World” likely helped as well.

The timing of the “Thor” tie-in is not a coincidence. While the film’s November launch date was set very far in advance, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” cleverly used the movie to help drive its November Sweeps numbers. As more people saw the film and caught the related “S.H.I.E.L.D.” episode online or via DVR playback, a number apparently stuck around for the following episode. The gambit seems to have paid off, for now, at least. Time will tell if the series is able to keep its current bump in live viewers.


That’s all well an good, but there are a few comparisons that can give a clearer picture as to how “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is doing in the marketplace — chief among them is comparing the show with it’s main timeslot competitor, “NCIS.”

Currently in its eleventh season, “NCIS” is a ratings powerhouse for CBS, and it is significant competition for “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” when fighting for casual viewers, in part due to both shows being of a procedural genre nature. Here’s how “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” tracks next to NCIS in both ratings and viewers.

One very significant note about these charts: the 6th episode of “NCIS” season 11 aired without a new “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” episode opposite it; and episode 9 of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” aired without a new “NCIS.”

While “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” may not be competing with “NCIS” in terms of overall viewers, it’s a little more competitive for ratings in the coveted 18-49 demographic. And though “S.H.I.E.L.D.” does trend lower than “NCIS,” it’s still the only competitive non-reality force for its timeslot as evidenced by these charts, which detail ratings and viewers for all shows that normally air on Tuesdays at 8PM.

 As you can see, “S.H.I.E.L.D.” is quite literally the only show that comes close to competing with “NCIS” both in the 18-49 ratings and in overall viewership. It’s likely that these competitive ratings for its timeslot helped influence ABC to expand “S.H.I.E.L.D.” to a full 22-episode order. That said, there isn’t a whole lot of non-reality-based competition during “S.H.I.E.L.D.’s” timeslot: “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” has some positive buzz and “Dads” continues to get support from Fox, but neither shows any sign of bringing in numbers comparable to “S.H.I.E.L.D.” A similar phenomenon occurs as relates to “The Originals,” the CW’s “Vampire Diaries” spinoff.

It’s also important to note that, other than “NCIS,” all current non-reality series in the Tuesday 8 PM timeslot are brand-new. Out of the four new shows in the Tuesday 8 PM timeslot, “S.H.I.E.L.D.” is clearly way ahead and could even be considered to be the standout new series of the night when just looking at the number comparisons.

“AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D.” VERSUS 2012-2013

It’s very difficult to evaluate “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” against last year’s ABC show in the same timeslot — namely because it was “Dancing With The Stars” in the fall, “The Taste” as a mid-season premiere, followed by “Celebrity Wife Swap,” then “Splash” in the Spring. All four of those shows are reality-based programming. Comparing “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” — a scripted show — to reality television is a bit like comparing apples and oranges, but it does give a slightly better idea as to how “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is doing. For ease of comparison, the following chart shows “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” in relation to the numbers that were closest to same Tuesday air date in 2012-2013.

Note: The final week of November was the “Dancing With The Stars” finale and it began at 9 PM instead of 8 PM. There was also a 5th week of October in 2013, but no episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” aired that week.

While “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s” ratings are higher nearly across the board in the 18-49 demo, the viewer numbers overall are definitely not in the same class as “Dancing With The Stars.” However, the higher ratings of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is certainly a point in the scripted drama’s favor over last year’s “Dancing With The Stars.”


There is one more comparison we have to make with “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” one with a show lauded by critics as the surprise hit and critical darling of the 2013-2014 season: “Sleepy Hollow.”

Airing on Mondays at 9 PM opposite almost zero competition, “Sleepy Hollow’s” chief competitor is usually 2 half-hour sitcoms on CBS. (Fox, ABC and NBC air reality programming in the fall on Mondays) That said, “Sleepy Hollow” is up against ratings monsters, even if they are reality shows (“The Voice” on NBC and “Dancing With The Stars” on ABC), two half-hour sitcoms on another network and a CW show. (“Beauty and the Beast”) To top it off, “Sleepy Hollow” is also a genre procedural in its first season. Top to bottom, it’s remarkably similar to “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

Here are the ratings/viewer comparison charts between “Sleepy Hollow” and “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.”

For the most part, “S.H.I.E.L.D.” and “Sleepy Hollow” are neck and neck for ratings and viewership with a few outliers. Critical reaction is certainly on thing — “S.H.I.E.L.D.” is cited for not living up to expectations, while “Sleepy Hollow” is praised for having exceeded them — the shows both are following similar trajectories in terms of ratings and viewers.


Despite critics’ evaluations, “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” is performing very well, certainly well enough to understand why ABC chose to commit to a full season order. Any show that can even come close to the constant 3.0 ratings of “NCIS” on Tuesdays is a decently sound investment for ABC. At this point, the only thing that would probably prevent the series’ renewal is if the numbers start to trend downward beyond normal show attrition.

That said, if “Sleepy Hollow” is bringing in the ratings it does on a night largely devoid of scripted television and continues its climb as critics’ it girl of the 2013-2014 season, imagine what “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s” ratings would be like if it were getting similar acclaim.

Bottom line is, the numbers are very strong for the current market. The fact that the only scripted show “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” can’t beat in its timeslot is “NCIS” makes it a much more likely bet for ABC renewal — especially given the .2 gain each week in the ratings since November 12.

All data sourced from TV by the Numbers.

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Batman-404-Covervia Newsarama

A 10-year-old Bruce Wayne, that is…

TV Show Auditions is reporting Friday that pre-teen Bruce is among the roles currently being cast as series regulars on Fox’s upcoming Batman ‘prequel’ TV series Gotham.

The show has already received a straight-to-series commitment with The Mentalistcreator Bruno Heller serving as executive producer, head writer, and showrunner.

As previously announced Gotham will explore “the origin stories of Commissioner James Gordon and the villains who made Gotham City famous.”

According to Deadline at the time of the series announcement, Gordon is still a detective with the Gotham City Police Department and has yet to meet Batman, who will not be part of the series. However, TV Show Auditions reports the series will center on “Gotham City PD rookie homicide detective James Gordon who investigates the double murder of Thomas and Martha Wayne,” putting the show firmly in the formative years of Bruce Wayne’s youth and the Batman mythos.

“Set in the early days of James Gordon’s police tenure, when he meets a boy named Bruce Wayne…” the casting call description on the series reportedly reads.

If accurate, it would almost certainly follow Alfred would be among the regular cast members as well.

Shooting on the pilot will reportedly begin in March. No roles have been cast as of Friday,TV Show Auditions reports.

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