Did you happen to watch the absolutely magnificent first trailer for Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, which leaked online Wednesday? I’m betting ABC is hoping that you didn’t, because that effectively eerie preview was supposed to make its television debut during next Tuesday’s episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. And now what might have been a ratings bonanza for the series will be just another episode.
Marvel never made it clear if they would be sneaking an Avengers 2 trailer anywhere else in the meantime, only saying it would be a TV debut during Agents. Marvel Cinematic Universe fanatics were already going to be tuned into Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on Tuesday night anyway, but less intensive superhero fans now have little to no reason to watch the show if they weren’t already invested in it. It’s impossible to negate how important roping the casual fanbase in with this trailer was for ABC, as an Avengers 2 trailer would even have brought mass audiences to Fox’s Mulaney. But it’s now all basically a moot point, since the trailer is already out there.
It’s not assumed that the leak will actually diminish the audience that Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. already had, but it’s an audience that has been gradually declining since the show began, even without a disaster like this happening. The first season averaged over 8.3 million viewers for its duration, with peak results for its series premiere, which brought in over 12.1 million pairs of eyes. But its second season has been far less successful, averaging just 4.9 million viewers through the first five episodes. Considering the seemingly infinite number of people going gaga over the Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer right now, I have to assume that many millions of potential viewers were lost. Here’s how Marvel reacted to the leak.
Dammit, Hydra.— Marvel Entertainment (@Marvel) October 22, 2014
They also went ahead and "officially" put the trailer out there. The leaked one appeared to be an international version, which likely wouldn’t have been the one used for ABC’s broadcast. So there was the smallest of chances that a different version of the trailer will play for TV audiences, but there's not even a good chance of that anymore. It's hard to feel good about anything when Ultron’s voice is so goddamned frightening. Officially check the trailer out below.
Will you still be watching Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.’s next episode, “A Fractured House,” when it airs on Tuesday?