Are you interested in joining the Avengers initiative? If the ratings are anything to go by, you probably are. To nobody's great surprise, ABC has picked up 'Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' for a full 22 episode first season. The action-adventure series set in the Marvel cinematic universe has proven a big draw so far, with the highly anticipated premiere garnering a superhero sized 4.7 demo. While this past Tuesday's episode three drew about half of the show's gigantic initial audience, the figures are still more than high enough to make 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' an unqualified success for ABC.
Starring Clark Gregg in his 'Avengers' role of Agent Phil Coulson, 'S.H.I.E.L.D.' shines a direct spotlight on the eponymous organization, one that had mostly been a notable background player in the Marvel film universe. The series now becomes the third heavily hyped, high-concept series to receive their "back-nine" order in the last month. The first was FOX's 'Sleepy Hollow,' followed shortly thereafter by NBC's 'The Blacklist.'
Unlike most people, I was at first quite skeptical about 'S.H.I.E.L.D.'s chances of long-term success. Sure, Marvel was white hot as a brand, but would millions of people tune in to watch a drama set in that universe that didn't include names like Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, etc.? Apparently, the answer to that question is a resounding yes, with DC and FOX already planning a TV series about the Gotham City Police Department. Next up, I want a show about the intrepid reporters of the Daily Bugle.