Updated 10/10: According to the Hollwyood trades, ABC has given Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. a full season pick-up, bringing its total episode order to 22.
Original story: With the third episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. , the ratings news is a mixed bag. The bad news is that total live viewers dropped once again, from 8.4 million for episode two down to 7.7 million for episode three. However, the most important ratings number, the "Demo Ratings," hit a significant milestone: they beat the most-watched scripted show on television head-to-head, NCIS. With a 2.8 over a 2.7, more people in the ad-buy categories watched S.H.I.E.L.D., making it a big win for the series. Marvel and ABC have been quick to point out that their audience is one that is relying heavily on DVR and Hulu watching, as well, meaning this remains a significant, but only partial, picture of their total viewership. The third episode featured a man named Dr. Franklin Hall, a character taken directly from Marvel Comics who is destined to become Avengers supervillain Graviton.
Meanwhile, the CW's Supernatural debuted to its strongest ratings in three years, a good sign, perhaps, for the upcoming debut of season two of Arrow on the CW tonight. Arrow will support a "night of Amell" as star Stephen Amell's younger brother Robbie's new show, Tomorrow People, another genre show, premieres directly after.