Scandal Season 3 premiere sets series-high viewership

Scandal opened its third season last night with a 71% viewership increase year to year over the Season 2 premiere in Adults 18-49, according to ABC. The network says that the Scandal Season 3 premiere episode, which aired in the 10pm ET time slot, set series highs in Total Viewers (10.5 million) and Adults 18-49 (3.6/10). The episode generated ABC’s best numbers for a Thursday 10pm series telecast since January 2010 in viewers, and since November 2010 in young adults. The Scandal Season 3 premiere was the No. 2 TV show of the night in Adults 18-49, behind only The Big Bang Theory on CBS.

scandal season 3 premiere

ABC also did well with Scandal: The Secret is Out, a one-hour recap special that aired in the 8pm slot. The network says that special, with 5.7 million total viewers and 1.6/5 in Adults 18-49, beat out NBC’s comedies in that hour (Parks and Recreation and the series premiere of Welcome to the Family) by strong margins.

If you were on Twitter last night, you probably noticed that Scandal was also trending and that people were tweeting about the premiere. ABC confirms the social media popularity of the Scandal Season 3 premiere, saying that the episode delivered 712,877 tweets — the show’s highest social delivery to date. It stood as the No. 1 most social series on Thursday night, and delivered the highest number of tweets for any broadcast series telecast this season so far.

Perhaps helped by being sandwiched between the Scandal special and the Scandal Season 3 premiere, Grey’s Anatomy (9pm) posted the series’ most-watched telecast in nearly a year last night, per ABC, with 9.4 million Total Viewers.

Overall for the night (8pm-11pm), ABC says it was up 8% over a year ago in Adults 18-49, while staying close with CBS’ all-original lineup for No.1 Adults 18-49 (2.8/8 vs. 2.9/9) and defeating originals on FOX by 56% (1.8/5) and on NBC by 75% (1.6/5).


Kerry Washington and Columbus Short in the Scandal Season 3 premiere: Eric McCandless/ABC