AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. Executive Producer Talks Ratings Drop And End Credits Scenes
We’re just a few hours away from the premiere of episode 3 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. The series has been getting good buzz overall. Episode 1 broke a few records, but there was a bit of a drop off with episode 2. That’s expected with new series, but the real test will be seeing the ratings for the next few episodes. Then we’ll know just how big of a hit the show is. Executive Producer Jeffrey Bell recently spoke with CBR about the series, the episode 2 ratings drop, and how Nick Fury popping up at the end of episode 2 is just the tip of the end credits scene iceberg.
The second episode had a reported 34% drop, although that was adjusted when overnight numbers and DVR viewings were factored in. Bell put the ratings into perspective:
Our first number was a good 4, and then they aired it a second time where millions of more people watched it, and then they factored in DVR plus three [days], and suddenly we had 22 million viewers, or whatever they were saying we had. Which was 50 percent more than anyone ever expected to show up, and that was great.
What I liked was, it went up in the second half. So it was like people started watching it, and they watched more in the second half. I would say this was against the premiere of “The Voice,” which is huge, and the biggest drama on TV, “NCIS.” I thought that was great.
And then week two, we had more men watching our show in the demo than like, anything on TV, and we were against Major League Baseball, and more “Voice,” and “NCIS” was making a big goodbye to one of their characters. I think DVR plus three will help us a lot. I think this is a more realistic number, and this is still, if not the best number on ABC, like, the second best number on ABC. It’s a really good number.
And I can’t worry about that. On the creative side, all we go is, “Can we make a really good show?” I think we’ve done that. I think the second episode was very entertaining, and all the ones we’ve built, I feel really good about. That’s the part I can control. Those were crazy numbers the first week. I just don’t see that happening in today’s world on a weekly basis.
One thing the series does is play up its Marvel Cinematic Universe connections. You have a plethora of nods and winks to viewers regarding those connections. The appearance of Maria Hill and Nick Fury are the biggest nods of course. Bell on the way they try to mine the Marvel comic universe:
If we’re looking for a doctor, we might say, “Is there a doctor in the Marvel Universe, who would be fun if the fans hear that character’s name? Can we make it that person and bring that quality to it? Is there a weapon or a cool tech thing from that universe that we could use that is cool on its own, but if you’re a Marvel fan, you go, ‘Oh my god, they did that!’” So we’re trying to do it that way.
If you look at all the Marvel movies, there are only a couple of superheroes, and they’re science-based. Both Hulk and [Captain America] are science gone awry, and then you’ve got Thor, who I guess is technically an alien. For us to have powers every week kind of explodes their movie universe in a way we didn’t want to do. Finding occasional characters who are superheroes — and whether that’s someone new like Mike Peterson in the pilot, or whether later on there are a couple of places when people hear the name, that will be meaningful to the Marvel fans. But we have to be judicious, otherwise we’ve got 20-some new superheroes running around at the end of the first season, and suddenly ["Avengers: Age of Ultron"] is a very different movie.
We’re in contact with Marvel Studios; we pitch them the stories we’re telling, and they’ll give us feedback from that. “Here might be a cool thing,” or “We’d rather you not do that, because that’s the plot of our next movie.” It’s a relationship, and Marvel’s been very cool about that. Going forward, we’d love to keep finding little things to bring to people, but keeping it so everyone can enjoy it.
Speaking of Nick Fury‘s appearance, Bell confirms that each and every episode will feature something special at the very end. He says it’s hard to keep those secret in the age of 24-hour news cycles, comic book blogs, and Twitter, but they’re going to do something special each episode. While it might not be a cameo appearance every time, it will be something to help further the story:
Part of our storytelling on this show is going to be a tag every week. We need people to know about that. The show ends, the S.H.I.E.L.D. eagle comes up, there are nine hours of commercials because it’s TV, and then before we go to the next show, we’re almost always going to have another minute, minute and a half of something, and those will be different from week to week.
One of the things we want people to know is, “Stick around for the tag.” Having a special one like we did early is also to tell you, “Pay attention to that.” I know when “Iron Man” did that after all the credits, a lot of the people left and didn’t know they should have stayed. Now you watch a Marvel movie, and everybody stays until the end. We’re going to be doing that, and we want people to know. Sometimes it’ll be funny, sometimes it’ll be a mythology thing, sometimes it’ll be a self-contained thing, or an extra little reveal about something that was in the episode.
You can read the full interview with the Executive Producer by clicking the source link below. The show has done a good job of keeping things a little more grounded than the movie, but tonight’s episode may introduce our first super powered villain in the form of Dr. Franklin Hall. The showrunners have been teasing fans on whether or not Dr. Hall makes the transformation into Graviton, but we don’t have much longer to wait until we find out. What do you think about Bell‘s comments? Did the ratings drop concern you? Are you glad to hear we’ll get a credits scene each week?
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Source : ComicBookResources