The TV season opened with a bang last Tuesday. To put that in some perspective, ABC's much antici-
pated, expensively produced and heavily promoted new show
"Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." attracted more than 12 million total viewers. And it still came in third in the total-viewer category.
"The Voice" was watched by more than 14 million, and "NCIS" continued to defy trends and gravity with a total audience in excess of 20 million viewers -- a number that some thought only NFL football can draw these days. Keep in mind, the audience for "NCIS" skews older, so that show actually came in third in the coveted 18-49-year-
old-viewer category. But that's still remarkable for a military legal procedural in its 11th season.
"S.H.I.E.L.D." was most-watched in the younger-audience tier, but only by a nose. It should be interesting to see how well the comic-book adventure continues to perform. It's terrifically expensive to produce -- particularly in comparison to "The Voice," even after its judges' salaries and the cost of those red swivel chairs get factored into the equation.
Big sci-fi series have debuted well before (think Fox's "Terra Nova") only to fade and vanish due to the cost of production. As one commenter on the "TVbytheNumbers"
website observed, the
first night ratings for "S.H.I.E.L.D." were on par with those of ABC's "V." Remember that?
None of this Tuesday surge of viewers rubbed off on the unlikable "Dads" on Fox. It came in fourth in both key ratings categories.
One night certainly provides too little evidence to prognosticate success or failure, but in the case of ABC's "Lucky 7," I will go out on a limb: Its dismal performance last week (getting half the audience of NBC's "Chicago Fire" in the 18-49 set and little more than a third of the total audience for CBS's "Person of Interest") do little to argue against its status as the show most likely to become the first canceled series of the year.
---Disney anticipates Halloween with the imported British fantasy "Wolfblood" (8 p.m., TV-PG), a series about 'tweens who are neither human nor wolf. It will air on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday nights through Oct. 24. Woof.
---Do sashes attract slashers? The new series "Beauty Queen Mur ders" (10 p.m., ID, TV-14) follows the dark side of pageant publicity and demonstrates that the same spotlight that can catapult some beauties into fame can also catch the attention of predators, stalkers and even killers.
---TV-themed DVDs available today include the first season of "China Beach."
---Peru holds mysteries on "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." (8 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
---"The iHeart Radio Music Festival" (8 p.m., CW) concludes.
---The three-part history "Latino Americans" (8 p.m., PBS) ends.
---The gang feels that Jake's bad luck may be contagious on "Brooklyn Nine- Nine" (8:30 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
---An Internet tycoon becomes a "Person of Inter est" (10 p.m., CBS, TV-14).
---Casey's new duties on "Chicago Fire" (10 p.m., NBC, TV-14).
---Publicity intrudes on "Lucky 7" (10 p.m., ABC, TV-14).
---The gang seeks retaliation on "Sons of Anarchy" (10 p.m., FX, TV-MA).
---A murder in a grocery store from 1998 remains unsolved on "Cold Justice" (10 p.m., TNT).
An aviator (David Niven) cheats death, then faces a heavenly tribunal in the 1947 Technicolor fantasy "A Matter of Life and Death" (TCM, 6:30 a.m., Wednesday morning), directed by Michael Powell and Emeric Press-
---Tony searches for Ziva in Israel on "NCIS" (8 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).
---Eli's lesson on "Dads" (8 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
---Hetty seeks counseling for Deeks and Sam on "NCIS: Los Angeles" (9 p.m., CBS, TV-PG).
---A deadly double date on "New Girl" (9 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
---A roller rink tradition on "The Goldbergs" (9 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
---Casey seeks new hor-
izons on "The Mindy Pro ject" (9:30 p.m., Fox, TV-14).
---Kate assumes some more maternal duties on "Trophy Wife" (9:30 p.m., ABC, TV-PG).
---David Mitchell is scheduled on "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart" (11 p.m., Comedy Central).
---Adam Scott and Jake Bugg appear on "Conan" (11 p.m., TBS).
---Mary McCormack, John Caparulo, April Richardson and Ross Mathews are booked on "Chelsea Lately" (11 p.m., E!).
---Jesse Ventura is scheduled on "Totally Biased With W. Kamau Bell" (11 p.m., FXX).
---Sarah Michelle Gellar and Nick Offerman appear on "Late Show With David Letterman" (11:35 p.m., CBS).
---Jay Leno welcomes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jay Mohr and Mika & Ariana Grande on "The Tonight Show" (11:35 p.m., NBC).
---Craig Ferguson hosts Patricia Heaton and Dennis Lehane on "The Late Late Show" (12:35 a.m., CBS).
Kevin McDonough can be reached at kevin.tvguy@g mail.com.