Since its debut in 2013, Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D has remained a constant on Tuesday evenings. The show has, however, moved back time slots twice now. The first move came in 2014 when the second season moved to 9:00 PM instead of the original 8:00 PM time-slot from season one. And now, the show is moving again for its fourth season, this time to 10:00 PM. Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel Television, sat down with comicbook.com recently and discussed the move, as well as what it meant for the series going forward.
By going to 10 o’clock, we’re going to be taking on just a little bit more edge, a little bit more grit…The show is pretty violent for something at 9 o’clock, but when we get to 10 o’clock, we’re going to be just a little hair of something that I think people are going to really enjoy.
This is a similar refrain to what ABC and Marvel said last time the show moved. While the networks do have some sort of way to regulate violence by time frames, its hard as viewers to know the difference. For years ABC aired NYPD Blue on this time frame with a warning about mature content. But other action/violence oriented shows have shown earlier in the evening. Fox’s 24 never shied away from torture or cutting off heads with hacksaws, and it aired at 8PM or 9PM its entire run. (Fox airs local news at 10 PM.) The 9PM time slot didn’t stop the show from chopping off hands, impaling people with fire chains, or having a character with a crushed chest cavity in recent times.
Many fans will hope that this spin is more than just a vain attempt at building buzz. Netflix has certainly shown that moving Marvel TV to a darker, edgier place is something that can work really well. Also, with Ghost Rider coming on to the show maybe ABC will play with some darker themes and even some scary, horror-like elements. At the very least it appears that ABC and Marvel have given up on S.H.I.E.L.D. as a broad appeal show for the whole family.