After months of hype and the added juice of an Ant-Man trailer exclusive, ABC’s Marvel’s Agent Carter (1.9/6) made its swinging debut last night. Compared to the last Marvel TV debut, Agent Carter was down 60% from the stellar one-hour Tuesday debut of Marvel’s Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. on September 24, 2013. While the new series was not expected to top the massive 4.7/14 adults 18-49 rating and 12.12 million viewers of the S.H.I.E.L.D. premiere, it also fell short of beating the 2.1/6 final nationals ratings the spy show pulled for its Season 2 premiere last September 23.
In terms of total viewers, however, the two-hour Agent Carter got an audience of 6.9 million, 15% better than the 5.98 million the Season 2 one-hour opener of S.H.I.E.L.D. In the key demo, the opening night of the new 7-week Marvel series also beat the S.H.I.E.L.D. winter finale on December 9 by 12%. That S.H.I.E.L.D. episode had 5.29 million viewers.
The debut of Agent Carter didn’t do Forever (1.1/3) any favors, but it didn’t do any harm either. Back from winter break, the freshman series was even with its last original December 9.
On Fox, Season 3 of MasterChef Junior (1.8/5) opened up its kitchen last night. Coming so quickly after the end of the Season 2 finale on December 16, which drew a 1.7/6 in the key demo, the new season was even with the Season 2 debut of November 4 last year. Following the return of the Gordon Ramsay-led show, Fox comedies New Girl (1.5/4) and The Mindy Project (1.0/3) were back from their winter breaks. The former was even with its last original December 9, while the later was down a tenth.
In many ways the real movement was on a network that had no debuts last night. CBS saw all its Tuesday dramas rise double digits in their winter returns. In that crowded 8 PM time slot with Agent Carter and MasterChef Junior, NCIS (2.8/9) was up 17% in 18-49 from its last new show on December 16. It was also the top-rated show of the night and, with an audience of 19.49 million, the most watched – in fact the biggest audience NCIS has had in almost a year.
Spinoff NCIS: New Orleans (2.5/7) did even better in terms of its rise: The freshman was up 32% in the demo from its December 16 show. Closing out the night for CBS was Person Of Interest (1.7/5), which saw a 31% increase in adults 18-49 since its last original on December 16. Needless to say, CBS topped the night in the demo with a 2.3/7 rating and viewership of 15.60 million.
The news wasn’t so good on NBC. Kicking off with a Parks And Recreation encore, the network’s Marry Me (0.8/2) and About A Boy (0.8/2) were both down double digits from their last originals December 9. In the case of the former it was a hard 33% fall, and for the latter an 11% drop. Chicago Fire (1.7/5) had it better with an even result with its last new episode December 2.
The CW was all repeats last night.