ABC TV's 'S.H.I.E.L.D' opens big with 12.2 million viewers

Wed Sep 25, 2013 7:31pm EDT

From L-R: Cast members Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge participate in a panel for ''Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' during the Disney ABC Television Group sessions at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California August 4, 2013. REUTERS/Phil McCarten

From L-R: Cast members Clark Gregg, Ming-Na Wen, Brett Dalton, Chloe Bennet, Iain De Caestecker and Elizabeth Henstridge participate in a panel for ''Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.'' during the Disney ABC Television Group sessions at the Television Critics Association summer press tour in Beverly Hills, California August 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Phil McCarten

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(Reuters) - New ABC drama "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." garnered strong ratings in its Tuesday debut, grabbing 12.2 million viewers overall and ranking first in its time slot among viewers ages 18 to 49, the group most prized by advertisers, according to Nielsen ratings data.

Ratings for the one-hour show, which aired opposite CBS drama "NCIS" and NBC singing contest "The Voice," were the highest for a drama debut in nearly four years, ABC said.

"NCIS" was the most-watched show overall on Tuesday night with 20.0 million total viewers, according to Nielsen. "The Voice" pulled in 14.4 million over its two hours.

"S.H.I.E.L.D." is ABC's effort to translate the movie success of Disney's Marvel comics franchise to TV and help lift the broadcast network's ratings.

For the TV season that ended in May, ABC's prime-time lineup ranked fourth among the broadcast networks for 18-to-49-year-olds, and second in total viewers, according to Nielsen.

ABC is a unit of Walt Disney Co.. Comcast Corp owns NBC.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine in Los Angeles; editing by Matthew Lewis)

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