|Timeslot Occupants||Agents of SHIELD|
In a Nutshell: Last season, ABC picked up this second Marvel series, starring Captain America: The First Avenger lead Hayley Atwell, to fill the hiatus of Tuesday centerpiece Marvel's Agents of SHIELD. Originally slated for a January 5 return, its two-hour premiere was bumped to tonight thanks to last Tuesday's State of the Union address.
Best Case: Agents of SHIELD still isn't lighting the world on fire, but it has actually been pretty healthy this fall, at least for this kind of show. That strength extends to Carter, which was pretty consistent beyond the first couple weeks last year, and many believe it's the better show creatively. It's able to pop back up for the premiere and settle at low-to-mid 1's again. 1.45.
Worst Case: Agents of SHIELD was mostly healthy this fall because of early heat from The Muppets, and its trends worsened late in the fall. Agent Carter won't get as much lead-in support as it did last year, when the network occasionally moved over original episodes of Shark Tank. This time, it gets a comedy hour led off by the fast-crumbling Muppets. It's another extremely ugly limited series drop to 0.82.
Likeliest: Since ABC keeps the Marvel brand on the air throughout the season, I'm hoping that this won't get hit as hard as other limited series. Still, Carter was rather disappointing last year; when the dust settled, it was roughly two tenths weaker than the surrounding Agents of SHIELD eps, even though it seemingly should've been a more favorable time of year. With pretty weak support around it and a lot of drama competitors, I think Carter will have a tough time improving on that dynamic this year. And as a sophomore, it won't get as much of a premiere bounce. 1.12.