Agents of SHIELD: Why Do The Ratings Keep Dropping?


I won’t lie, I really like Agents of SHIELD. I am a huge Marvel fan, and just the fact that there is a show about SHIELD is enough to blow my mind. I honestly never saw this day coming. There is a bit of a problem for the show, though. Seems week after week, the ratings are dropping for this show. So what are they doing wrong, and what do they need to do right to turn this ratings drop trend around for them? Truth is, I have some pretty solid ideas.

First off, you call yourself Agents of SHIELD, yet it seems you get further and further away from the Marvel universe every week. I’m sorry, but you can’t expect to keep fans if you promised them a Marvel show, and every week, they end up getting a sci fi version of the X-Files. SHIELD is pretty much the police agency for the Marvel universe, so the fact that they are dealing VERY LITTLE with any heroes or super teams makes no sense. Don’t get me wrong, I know budget would not allow big cameos every week, but pull in some D-listers from the Marvel U. There are, LITERALLY, thousands of characters you could pull from. People liked the first few episodes because they had mutants, and bad guys, and opposition that FELT like it belonged in that world. Now, it feels more like a ensemble comedy, with each character trying to out-quirk the last. We didn’t tune in to watch the kooky cast of The Office in a Marvel show, and that is kind of what this feels like.

Another big problem is the character who grew into the lead. I am sorry, but NO ONE LIKES the Grant Ward character. He is dull and stiff, and seems like the kind of guy you would NEVER want to spend time with in real life. So why are they focusing on him so much? Give us Coulson being Coulson. Heck, even give us more of Skye (the woman is a blessing on the eyes), but enough with the sci fi gadgets and villains of the week. Give us a bad guy we can hate, and some good guys we want to root for.

it’s simple, yet you guys are missing the mark.

Also, how little Nick Fury shows up or is even mentioned is kind of silly. Nick Fury IS SHIELD. I know you can’t have Sam Jackson every week, but how about some voice recordings or something? Either way, giving us a Marvel show with nothing that hints are it being Marvel is a recipe to fail, and that is just what is happening.

Honestly, I expect more from Joss Whedon. Hate to go there, but someone has to. Might as well be me. The show needs an enemy anyway. I’ll take that title, if need be.

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  • Arpan Malviya

    It comes as no surprise to me. The show is utterly insipid and too smug in its skin to actually hold the user’s interest. There is not a single believable character in the entire ensemble (including Coulson who seems to be there for the purpose of spouting pseudo-mysterious one-liners). Ten years ago, this show would have swept everyone off their feet. Unfortunately, it is now 2013… We are now used to dramas that actually surpass cinema in depth and complexity on the small screen.

    • TD

      Well said!

      I’ve been saying repeatedly that TV is now more sophisticated since the days of the A-Team or Star Trek TNG. Joss writes like he’s still in the 90s.

    • Arpan Malviya

      Somebody else here pointed this out already… In the 90’s, the idea of an all-pervasive, omniscient network like SHIELD would have created a sense of wonder and awe. Now it just creates disgust. People stopped being impressed by bully orgs some time back and started being wary. The reason MIB succeeded at the game was that it had a super-likeable character, a very clear cut reason for why it was secretive (aliens were a secret that had to be kept a secret), and they were not made of 5 people flying around in a plain ship. SHIELD has absolutely no reason to be secretive after NY. There is no character on the show that is “not” annoying and a know-it-all, and I feel sort of cheated by the Firefly references in the pilot.

    • Charmaine Be

      I think it is amazing how in-depth the production of television has become. Twin peaks was a head of its time. There are so many shows that give me the chills now a days. E.g The Newsroom.

  • Javier Mercado

    your right few of the reasons why i stopped watching after the first episode

  • Charmaine Be

    I do not want to dumb it down to the who male v. female thing. But I feel the way about Skye that you seem to about Ward. The character development for her is crap. She promotes the same I can do what I want because I am a spoiled-know-it-all is irritating to say the least.

    In contrast; LOVE the ‘geek patrol’ and ‘the back-up’. Also, I completely agree with your recommendation for a voice recording. Holograms or video messages may also be a way to integrate Fury. The story line flow thus far has been choppy and sporadic. The team needs a goal!

  • IronMan3isaMess

    1) Poor writing.
    2) Bland characters
    3) Generic production.
    4) It an obvious cash in.
    5) Marvel has over-saturated the market.

    Take your pick.


    The show needs more special effects and top shelf HEROS!

  • skye

    Usually most shows that don’t have a main story arc for the whole season get nowhere.And this one goes any other place but in one direction.As much as i love Marvel and Whedon i got to the point where i watch this out of boredom…
    I wait for Arrow impatiently week after week even if i’m not such a big DC fan,while i watch AotS just to pass time being a huge Marvel fan and if this is how most ppl feel then no wonder ratings are dropping…
    -there’s no main story arc
    -monster of the week and procedural shows are so last decade
    -no believable character interactions(they stay on that plane 24/7 for weeks now and still act like they just met)
    -there are second hand sci-fi shows with better effects
    -can’t keep even the avid Marvel comics fans interested so how would the show keep the rest of the viewers interested?
    -feels like The A-Team without Mr.T,humor and action or Knight Rider without the cool talking car.

  • Stopped Watching

    The biggest problem with the show is the current news cycle. In the real world, agencies like the NSA and TSA are intrusive and a little scary. Many people, particularly including the prime target demo for Agents of Shield, is quite worried about the surveillance state. Yet Agents of Shield expects us to root for that type of big brother operation.

    To recover I think Marvel needs to make the show more “marvellous,” that is more fantastical in its use of villians, etc.

    And it needs to drop Grant Ward. Truly an awful character/actor mismatch.

    • TD

      I root for the NSA, CIA, FBI most of the time! They’ve been spying since the 1940s; which is partly how we won the COLD WAR.
      also, Bin Laden’s location was determined when one of his men used his cell phone!

      ABC could’ve used SHIELD as dialogue about Agents that do what is necessary (spying) and Agents who cross the line like in the case of CIA torture.

      They could’ve also explored how the use of Super powers like telepathy could be used as a replacement for torture.

      and how the use of Robotics instead of humans – to listen to phone calls… can protect people’s privacy while still tagging calls that have to do with terrorism!

  • TD

    1.)Get every B-character that Marvel will let you have; and just go ALL OUT!
    2.)Have more than one story thread going at the same time.
    3.)Use flashbacks to tell backstories about agents.
    3.)Super powered agents work together with non-powered ones.
    4.)recurring Vilains! like SWORD or the Skrulls or both!


    – The PUNISHER with his own story thread as a rogue agent.

    • TD

      Forgot, There are 3 avengers characters that will probably never have their own solo movie:

      1.)Nick Fury
      2.)Black Widow (well maybe)

      Just put these guys in the TV show.

  • Gary C.

    Why does Skye’s fence-sitting regarding Rising Tide v. SHIELD have to be such a MAJOR issue every week?! Can’t she just coast (or keep it under wraps) for an episode or two? Serving two masters is impossible in the long run, but in the short run at least it can be managed. So, let her manage! But no, she’s been caught out (reasonable, given SHIELD’s near-omniscience) practically every time. She’s been on Double Secret Probation at least every other episode and it really doesn’t make *sense* for them to continue trusting her! And every time she says “I’m in”, it’s “no wait, I’m really not! But *NOW* I am!” and that game is getting a little tiresome as well. An all-around “good guy” CAN be a compelling character — look up the short-lived “Middleman” series! AoS needs a little more of *that* vibe!

  • OfJotunheim

    i have been watching SHIELD ever since it premiered because, i loved marvel. the reason why it’s slipping in numbers is because of the competition on tuesday night on other networks. also, the show was on a hiatus for a few weeks which could of been the problem as well. i agree with some things. they need to have original scripts for very episode instead of the ones that are being rehearsed like Skye’s problem. It’s getting to be old. They just need episodes where a major avenger or marvel character that we know are guest stars for at least one or if not 2 episodes, like Iron Man, Thor, Widow, and heck even Tom Hiddleston said in a interview that he would like to make an appearance in the show as Loki at some point.

    if they could do this then the ratings could raise I believe.

  • willcabanRETURNS

    This show just plain sucks….only Marvelites watch this wreck….hopefully they learned their lesson in how Agent Carter is handled..

  • LPS ForeverUs

    I don’t get you guys, yes this show has some issues and blah blah blah but seriously if you don’t like it a) don’t watch it or b) shut up. Cuz seriously even movies like The Hunger Games -which I love don’t get me wrong- are overrated and we’re expecting too much from these directors and actors, like chill. Twenty years ago we didn’t even have proper animation and now were expecting people to jump
    off of airplanes and it to look real.
    I’m just saying, you’re entitled to your opinion but I’m pretty sure if you were the one behind the camera and directing it would be so easy to please everyone or anyone in fact without losing your sanity so give the guys a break.