Update: While the performance was not as impressive as the Top 25 market data suggested, ABC’s “Scandal” indeed hit a series high for its third season premiere.
The buzzworthy ABC drama dominated its 10PM timeslot with a 3.6 adults 18-49 rating and 10.52 million viewers. The premiere outperformed last year’s finale, which drew a 3.2 with 9.1 million viewers, on both metrics.
ABC’s “Scandal” ended the 2012-13 broadcast season as one of television’s hottest, most buzzworthy series. But that heat, which culminated in big ratings for the show’s final two season two episodes, had nothing on interest for Thursday’s season three premiere.
According to Sitcoms Online, “It’s Handled,” Thursday’s acclaimed season three premiere, drew a whopping 4.3 adults 18-49 rating in the top 25 markets. While the number is subject to change once all the major markets are included, it is virtually certain the rating will stay above a 3.2, which was the previous series high.
Viewership and household data were not available at press time.
After debuting as a modest performer for its abbreviated first season, the Shonda Rhimes-created drama stayed in an acceptable, but unremarkable, range for the early portion of its second season.
Then, amid buzz over the show’s powerhouse performances, improved creative vision and handling of its key storyline regarding an assassination attempt on the president, “Scandal” began a rapid ascent into TV ratings superstardom (at a time when many other shows were showing late-season difficulties).
As expected, the buzz, which continued building over the off-season, was enough to turn “Scandal” into a major hit for its third season premiere.