Ratings: Mighty S.H.I.E.L.D. Is TV's Best Drama Debut in 4 Years, Chicago Fire Sizzles in New Slot

Ratings Marvel's Agents of SHIELDOne of this fall TV season’s most burning questions — “How will Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. premiere?” — has been answered.

POLL | Is S.H.I.E.L.D. the Hero Series That TV Deserves, Or the One It Needs Right Now?

ABC’s follow-up to the Marvel movies by way of Joss Whedon on Tuesday night opened to (updated) 12.1 million total viewers while scoring a 4.7 rating in the coveted 18-49 demo, per finals — aka this fall’s highest-rated drama debut to date, if not the most watched. It also stands as all of TV’s best drama launch in four years (since ABC’s own V).

In the demo, S.H.I.E.L.D. trounced NBC’s The Blacklist (12.6 mil/3.8), Fox’s Sleepy Hollow (10.1 mil/3.5) and CBS’ Hostages (7.4 mil/1.8).

For comparison’s sake, the first half of Dancing With the Stars‘ results show a year ago did 10.1 mil/1.7 for ABC in the 8 o’clock hour, while the Alphabet net’s last Tuesdays-at-8 drama debut (No Ordinary Family) drew 10.7 mil and a 3.2.

ABC’s strongest previous drama launch was Once Upon a Time‘s 13 mil/4.0 circa 2011.

Facing off against SHIELD, CBS’ NCIS returned to 20 mil (its third-most watched opener ever) and a 3.6 (updated per finals), down 2 and 12 percent from its previous premiere but up from its Season 10 finale (18.8 ml/3.4).

RELATED | NCIS Premiere Recap: The Long, Ziva-Less Goodbye

ABC | Continuing ABC’s all-new Tuesday, The Goldbergs (9.1 mil/3.2) showed 76 and 70 percent retention out of SHIELD. Trophy Wife then debuted to 6.6 mil/2.3, and (un)Lucky 7 brought up the rear with 4.6 mil/1.3 (versus the last premieres of Private Practice [6.5 mil/1.9] and Body of Proof [6.8 mil/1.2]).

POLLS | Did The Goldbergs Make You Kvell? Is Trophy Wife a Prize?

FOX | Fox’s comedies took the biggest hit with SHIELD et al now in play. Dads (3.7 mil/1.5) dropped 28 percent in the demo, Brooklyn Nine-Nine (4 mil/1.8) plunged 30 percent, New Girl (4.1 mil/2.1) fell 28 percent and The Mindy Project (3 mil/1.5) was down “just” 21 percent.

CBS | NCIS: LA‘s season opener led out of the aforementioned NCIS with 16.2 mil/3.0, dipping 3 and 12 percent from its previous premiere. Person of Interest then christened its new time slot with 12.3 mil/2.3, down 14 and 11 percent from its last Thursday premiere and falling shy of Vegas‘ year-ago debut (14.7 mil/2.5). Hmmm….

RELATED | The Voice Recap: Finally Got a Piece of the Pie

NBC | The Voice drew 14.4 mil and a 4.7, down from Monday’s 15 mil/5.1 but up sharply from last fall’s Tuesday premiere (11.4 mil/4.0). Chicago Fire‘s season opener led out of that with 8.9 mil and a time slot-winning 2.7 (per finals), surging 35 and 42 percent from its year-ago launch (on a Wednesday) and improving greatly on Parenthood‘s last Tuesday premiere.

RELATED | Chicago Fire Premiere Recap: A House in Danger

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