It’s interesting that in the pages of Marvel Comics, over the past few years, the publisher has essentially replaced the once ubiquitous mutants with Inhumans. But in the TV taste test, it seems that viewers have chosen the classic mutants over the new and improved Inhumans, with FOX’s ‘The Gifted’ earning higher ratings than ABC’s more highly-publicized ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’ spin-off.
On Friday, 3.9 million people tuned in to the ‘Inhumans’‘ first hour while that number dropped to 3.6 in its second. These statistics are on par with those of ‘Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’ last year, during its fourth season. Granted, that’s not stellar, but it’s not awful either and ‘Inhumans’ was only conceived as a limited eight-episode series to begin with. There was always the possibility of it being expanded later, should viewership warrant it, but it doesn’t look like it does.
On the other hand, Monday night, ‘The Gifted’ premiere attracted 4.9 million viewers, a million more sets of eyes.
‘Inhumans’ debuted on IMAX screens last month, so some of those that saw it in theaters may have skipped the TV airing. But working against it, ‘Inhumans’ was savaged by critics and audiences which may have driven some away from the TV premiere.
On the flip side, ‘The Gifted’ has been very positively received. To contrast them, ‘The Gifted’ has a strong 73% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes with an even better 81% audience rating. ‘Inhumans’ audience rating isn’t great at 51% positive, but its critical rating is a dismal 6%, which once again may have driven away prospective viewers.
While the Marvel movies rule at the box office, TV viewers have realized that shows that bear the ‘Marvel’ logo have nothing to do with the films. ‘Inhumans’ bears the same shiny cheap look as ‘S.H.I.E.L.D.’, yet is much more ambitious. Therefore its shortcomings are even more glaring.
Both shows are just beginning, however, and things could change. Usually shows lose viewers over time unless they generate buzz that entices others to check it out after maybe not watching it from the very beginning. (Nowadays, it’s easy to catch up via on-demand.) Unfortunately, ‘Inhumans” poor reception isn’t likely to draw anyone else to check it out. This series is likely one-and-done. Having gotten a better reception, ‘The Gifted’ could actually see its viewership increase. We’ll have to wait and see.
Did you catch either or both of these shows? What do you think? How do they compare?