Source: Bill Keveney / USA Today
Viewers appear to be responding to Scandal‘s personal and political intrigue. In its first full season, it is up 6% in viewers (averaging 8.4 million) and 19% in advertiser-prized young adults over an abbreviated, seven-episode premiere last spring that featured no lower-rated reruns. Its six most-watched episodes have come in the past seven first-run airings.
Scandal also is drawing a substantial social-media following, encouraged by ABC’s marketing efforts and the dedication of the cast, Rhimes and others involved with the show, who live-tweet each episode. Momentum picked up after the presidential assassination attempt in late November, facilitated by the network’s creation of customized hashtags, such as #whoshotfitz.
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The Feb. 7 episode, in which the president kills a Supreme Court justice to prevent her from confessing to the bid-rigging and assassination attempt, generated more than 350,000 tweets and was Thursday’s most-talked-about show on Twitter, according to the network. Throughout the evening, a number of trending topics were Scandal-related.
Networks are starting to tout their series’ social standings. And the industry considers social-media activity to carry a number of benefits. They include drawing the interest of those who may be new to the show and, with live-tweeting, encouraging live viewing in an era when so much is watched at a later time, says Marla Provencio, ABC’s executive vice president of marketing.
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