And who thought that at the time? No one knew the cast at the time other than the fact that several of the actors had been on Buffy and/or Angel. The ratings were terrible and very few people got the idea or Joss' mix of drama and clever comedy. In two shows you are already declaring the cast bland and the dialog dull.
Why does familiarity have anything to do with it? You don't need name stars to make a good cast. A well chosen cast does that for itself and every person on the Firefly team was significantly more memorable, charismatic and (apart from Summer Glau) experienced than on SHIELD. Go read some of the first reviews of Firefly and find some that criticized the cast or characters if you can. What the majority of critics did not like was the genre mashup of cowboys on horses in space, they had little problem with actors or dialog.
And nobody got it? Everyone who watched Buffy and Angel had no problem with the drama and comedy mix. Joss Whedon had already well established himself as a smart wordsmith after years in the spotlight on Buffy. Another show with a cast of relative unknowns that was well chosen and memorable. The reason the ratings were low for Firefly was not because nobody "got it" it was the same audience he already had. The ratings were low by Fox standards but on The WB (where his fan base came from) it would have been just fine.
SHIELD is being propped up by Clark Gregg right now. The only other actor with any presence has been reduced to a silent pilot. The rest are just interchangeable with any young Hollywood types and without the snappy dialog and self-awareness of Whedon's self-penned series they have nothing interesting to say to make them any more dimensional.
Edited by VisionOn - 10/4/13 at 7:14pm