'Agents of SHIELD' Gets Full Season Pickup

Marvel's Agents of SHIELD has been picked up for a full season.

ABC confirmed that the comic book series will be given a full 22-episode season Thursday.

Agents of SHIELD premiered on September 24 and drew 11.9 million viewers with a 4.7 rating among adults 18-49, topping The Voice and NCIS in that demographic. The series ranked as the top network drama premiere since V in 2009. The audience dropped to 8.66 million in its second week as it went up against Cote de Pablo's final NCIS episode. The series dipped again in its third week, drawing 7.87 million viewers.

Agents of SHIELD focuses on Phil Coulson (Clark Gregg), the leader of the organization. Even though Coulson was killed by Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in The Avengers, Gregg said he had a number of theories about how Coulson could have survived and initially had doubts about returning. But when he talked to Joss Whedon, he changed his mind.

"When Joss described to me the mystery that takes place in Marvel's Agents of SHIELD and the complexity and the unanswered questions about Phil Coulson standing there trying to deal with this, I found it so fascinating and so true to the world of the comics and mythology in general as I understand them that I was immediately in," Gregg said in April.

The series was co-created by brothers Joss and Jed Whedon, and Jed's wife, Maurissa Tancharoen. The trio also executive produce the series with Jeffrey Bell and Jeph Loeb.

Agents of SHIELD marks the first full-season order for ABC. It joins NBC's The Blacklist and Fox's Sleepy Hollow, which was given a surprise early renewal last week. The first season of The Blacklist will now consist of 22 episodes, but Sleepy Hollow will remain at 13. Its second season will also consist of 13 episodes.

"The show has proven to be a risk well worth taking – it's a conceptual blast unlike anything else on television and it all holds together with inventive writing and a fantastic cast," said Fox president Kevin Reilly. "I can't wait for fans to experience what else is in store for this fall and even more of this wild ride into Season 2."

Agents of SHIELD airs Tuesdays at 8 pm on ABC.