Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Live +3 Bump Is Better Than Last Year's, Ties It With NCIS: New Orleans

Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. increased by almost 50% in the live +3 ratings over its initial overnight performance, meaning that while it still didn't match last year's massive season premiere or even the pilot episode for Gotham, which aired the night before, it performed very well and had a bigger bump in the L3s than did last year's pilot.

According to TV By the NumbersS.H.I.E.L.D. went up to 8.9 million viewers (+48% - up +2.9 mil from 6.0 mil L+SD) and a 3.2 in Adults 18-49 (+52% - up +1.1 from 2.1 L+SD).  S.H.I.E.L.D.'s L3 gains were much higher than last year's debut in viewers (+48% vs. 31%) and young adults (+52% vs. 38%).

Obviously, that last bit is in part because last year the show performed so remarkably well in overnight ratings that there wasn't quite as much room for upward movement; its initial numbers last year were 55% higher than this year's overnight ratings.

The end result of the big jump up in the L3 ratings was that the series now matched the premiere of NCIS: New Orleans, a spinoff of the hit CBS series that consistently beat out S.H.I.E.L.D. in the ratings last year. That's good news for S.H.I.E.L.D., since as they discovered this time last year, a new series can sometimes peak at the pilot and beating an established hit is a lot easier with the buzz of audience curiosity than it is once people know what you're up to and are making a distinct choice. Last year, the show rarely beat NCIS -- the procedural drama was such a juggernaut that NCIS re-runs beat a new episode of S.H.I.E.L.D. at least once -- but did so handily during premiere week.