Ratings: Scandal Hits All-Time Highs

Definitely Gladiators. Notbitches.

ABC’s Scandal on Thursday night opened Season 3 with 10.5 million total viewers and a 3.6 demo rating — up 15 and 13 percent from its May finale to hit all-time highs in both measures.

Versus its sophomore opener, the buzzy drama surged 59 and 71 percent.

Leading into ScandalGrey’s Anatomy (9.4 mil/3.0) was steady in viewers but down 12 percent in the demo from its two-hour opener.


I just want to take a moment to thank every Gladiator out there on Tumblr Youtube, Twitter and any social media platform that you use for your amazing contributions - from the insightful analysis on Thursday’s night episode to the talented gif makers.

You all add so much to the fun surrounding Scandal. Each time I see your thoughts and art on my dashboard and on Twitter, there are no words. You guys go hard for Scandal!

You all rock!
2013 TV Upfronts: ABC emphasizes 'Scandal' buzz over ratings

“Scandal” is already a hit with TV viewers and a social-media smash, but if ABC’s upfront presentation is any indication, the soapy political drama is also a clear favorite of executives at the network eager to put a positive spin on the their fourth-place finish in the 18-to-49 demographic this season.

“’Scandal’ is a game-changing hit,” proclaimed ABC Entertainment Group President Paul Lee on Tuesday afternoon at New York City’s Avery Fisher Hall, touting the show’s extremely engaged, Twitter-happy followers to a theater packed with media buyers and ad executives eager to harness the power of social media.

Later, the entire cast of “Scandal” appeared on stage – the only returning show to get such a showcase.  Lead Kerry Washington, who plays Washington, D.C., crisis manager Olivia Pope on the series, introduced a sneak peek from Thursday’s season finale in which – spoiler alert! – her character shares a phone call with her paramour, President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn).

Even Jimmy Kimmel, in the middle of an otherwise caustic monologue, did some earnest “Scandal” cheerleading, boasting that it’s the first network drama in 40 years to feature an African American female lead.

The emphasis on “Scandal” appeared to be part of a larger strategy to emphasize the network “brand” rather than its overall ratings, which declined 8% this year thanks to the ailing “Dancing With the Stars” franchise and a string of flops like “666 Park Avenue” and “Zero Hour.”

In the presentation and in an earlier conference call with reporters, Lee described ABC as the “No. 1 brand in network television.” We’ll see if that pitch clicks with advertisers the same way that “Scandal” has with viewers.