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Given how well all of Marvel's blockbuster films do at the box office, one might think that the company's super-powered stories would fare just as well on the small screen. But even though some have done just that -- and we're thinking largely of Netflix's Defenders quad-fecta of shows -- that's definitely not always the case. With the two newest Marvel series on the air, ABC's Inhumans and Fox's The Gifted, the company is experiencing both the good and the bad when it comes to viewership and ratings numbers, and we bet everyone can guess which one is which.
Let's start off with Inhumans, which went from being one of Marvel's most anticipated TV projects to one of the small screen's most troubled projects in recent years. The eight-episode event series notably received some of the harshest reviews of the 2017-2018 TV season (or any TV season, really), and though audience support can sometimes offset such harsh critical word-of-mouth, Inhumans isn't quite bringing in those kind of surplus viewers. The fantastical and well-cast drama's two-part series premiere was watched by around 3.75 people (with a 0.9 demo rating), totals that weren't exactly helped along by Inhumans' heavily promoted IMAX run, which did not match up to expectations from either fans or studio figureheads.
Those totals were definitely on the low side, both for a Marvel project and for a broadcast network premiere (especially for a show airing on Fridays, where competition is pretty light.). But there was some relief to be found in Live+3 delayed viewing stats, which saw Inhumans' premiere viewership rise to 5.58 million, with its 18-49 adult demo rating capping off at a 1.5. Still not amazing, but much better, and it would have been downright applause-worthy if the show's follow-up episodes could have earned the same kind of totals. Unfortunately, it's only gone downhill from there; Episode 3 was watched by 2.78 million viewers, with a 0.7 rating, while Episode 4 dipped down to 2.3 million viewers, with a 0.6 demo rating.
Delayed viewing numbers for those episodes haven't yet been released, so there could still be some mildly good news for Inhumans in the future. But at this point, it's just icing covering a cake of disappointing returns. Ahead of the premiere, execs like Marvel TV's Jeph Loeb tried to make it sound like the show's unfinished effects from the extensive CGI work was a big reason for the early jeers that the premiere episodes received, but the consensus has largely been the same even with the later episodes, with bland characters and slow storytelling plaguing the beloved comic property's first jump to live-action.
On the flip side, Fox's The Gifted is doing pretty well for itself, despite existing in an X-Men-adjacent world where many of the more familiar mutants aren't part of the action. Led by Stephen Moyer, Amy Ackers and a host of younger actors, The Gifted brought in 4.9 million viewers for its series premiere at the beginning of the month, earning a 1.5 rating in the key 18-49 demographic. Probably not as incredible as Fox might have hoped, but it still beat out season premieres for the network's other comic-originated properties such as Gotham and Lucifer, neither of which gained over 4 million viewers. Plus, it seems the drama's winning reviews got otherwise hesitant viewers' attention, as The Gifted's premiere saw an additional 2.41 million people tuning in over the next few days, and those Live+3 results also raised the demo rating by 0.8 of a point, bringing it to an impressive 2.5.
As it usually goes with new shows, the second episode for The Gifted didn't do as well as the first one initially did, with 3.79 million people tuning in, earning a 1.2 demo rating. But it's certainly possible that the action-heavy drama will continue building its audience through delayed viewing, since Monday nights are also home to Monday Night Football and CBS' Big Bang Theory-led night of sitcoms. It'll be interesting to see how the series fares when Big Bang reverts back to Thursday nights, and when MNF is finished for the season.
So that's the way this super-powered cookie crumbles. One one end, The Gifted's tale of government-tracked mutants is winning over TV audiences, while Inhumans' family-fueled war has left many as quiet as Black Bolt himself. If you guys want to join the ranks of people watching both of these shows, tune into Inhumans on Friday nights on ABC at 9:00 p.m. ET, while The Gifted airs on Fox on Monday nights at 9:00 p.m. ET. To see when everything else is heading to the small screen in the near future, head to our fall premiere schedule.