The Most Popular Marvel TV Show Isn’t What You Think

While the question "What's your favorite Marvel movie?" can supply enough fuel to keep an internet argument burning until the end of days, asking "What's your favorite Marvel TV show?" usually results in a halfhearted shrug in the vague direction of Jessica Jones. According to one analytics company, though, we are passionate about one Marvel series ... but there's a good chance that you didn't just forget about this one, but repressed it with such intensity that a criminal psychologist would be convinced that you witnessed its cast murder your family in an alleyway.

We're talking, of course, about Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Marvel TelevisionOh no, the flashbacks are retur- Momma? Mooooomma!

According to Parrot Analytics, a data science company that works with media companies like CBS, BBC Worldwide, and A&E, Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. is currently one of the most in-demand shows in the world. They arrived at this judgment through assessing a wealth of statistics (read: "demand expression platforms") surrounding the show, such as how much buzz it generates on social media, the frequency with which it's shared on file-sharing sites, and how much critics and audience enjoy it.

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This makes a surprising amount of sense, and reflects how "popularity" is a much more complex metric to gauge today than it was in the past. It's not enough to use ratings anymore; not only do many streaming services (like Netflix) refuse to share their viewing figures, but we're also consuming media in a slew of ways that can't be boiled down to a single number. And (conveniently) there's no better example of that than Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D. In terms of viewership, it never excelled. In terms of critical reception and the dedication of its fandom, however, it's incredibly popular. Honestly, we kinda feel bad for spending so long comparing it to Gotham.

The results of this survey mean that Agents stands, in terms of in-demandness, alongside shows like Better Call Saul, Criminal Minds, and Vikings (a level, according to Parrot, that only 0.03 percent of shows reach). This far surpasses the popularity of other televisual superhero offerings like Arrow, Supergirl, and yes, the Marvel shows on Netflix -- or at least, whatever Marvel shows are left on Netflix by the time this article is published.

Adam Wears is on Twitter and Facebook, and has a newsletter dedicated to depressing history facts. It's not as heartbreakingly sad as it sounds, promise!

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