Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series has passed it first hurdle.  The ABC network has picked up an option for the final 9 first season episodes, bringing the first year total to a traditional 22-episode season. 
After a stellar debut that was the best for a new drama series in four years (see "'S.H.I.E.L.D.' Premiere Best in Four Years"), the show’s ratings took a natural drop as competition increased (see "'S.H.I.E.L.D.' Drops 30%"), but the third episode still ranked second in its timeslot this week and it managed to beat NCIS in the demo that advertisers covet the most.
The renewal was announced via the very active Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. twitter stream (social media and video recorders are revolutionizing both the marketing and the measuring of TV series).  The show’s next big hurdle will be maintaining its rating momentum well into 2014 and getting a renewal for a second season.