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ABC TV's 'S.H.I.E.L.D' opens big with 11.9 million viewers

Date September 25, 2013

(Reuters) - New ABC drama "Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D." garnered strong ratings in its Tuesday debut, grabbing 11.9 million viewers overall and ranking first in its time slot among the 18-to-49 age group prized by advertisers, according to preliminary Nielsen data provided by ABC.

Ratings for the ABC 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 19.5 million total viewers, according to Nielsen data provided by CBS.

ABC is a unit of Walt Disney Co.

"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.

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

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