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Ratings Update: ABC’s “Scandal” Falls to Season Low; “American Crime” Also Down

Final Ratings Update: A significant downward revision revealed that CBS’ NCAA Men’s Basketball coverage was only a modest competitive threat.

Despite that, ABC’s “Scandal” saw no uptick in the finals. Thursday’s episode registered a 2.4 adults 18-49 rating with 7.79 million viewers. The viewership total was the worst for a “Scandal” episode since February 21, 2013 (2.7 rating, 7.68 million viewers).

Other ABC ratings: “Grey’s Anatomy” (2.1, 7.73 million), “American crime” (1.2, 5.54 million).

For the second straight week, ABC’s 9PM flagship “Scandal” delivered a season low performance.

For the second straight week, ABC’s acclaimed new 10PM series “American Crime” turned away viewers in the key adults 18-49 demographic.

After dipping to a season low 2.7 adults 18-49 rating with 8.24 million viewers last week, “Scandal,” per fast national data, slipped to a 2.4 adults 18-49 rating with 7.96 million this week.

While momentum is clearly not on the side of ABC’s flagship, this week’s episode did face competition from the NCAA Men’s Basketball tournament, which drew far stronger ratings on CBS than it did during the comparable week last year.

Basketball also fared far better in adults 18-34 than CBS’ comedy hour did last week. Sure enough, that was the demo in which “Scandal” suffered its most notable loss this week. It fell from a 2.2 adults 18-34 rating to a 1.7.

“Scandal” was, meanwhile, nearly steady in adults 25-54 (2.9 this week versus a 3.0 last week).

By the same token, NBC’s “The Blacklist” also faced CBS’ basketball competition and actually enjoyed a slight lift in adults 18-34. “Scandal”‘s 23% decline in adults 18-34 was far from an inevitability.

While there is a chance this week’s numbers will receive upward adjustments in the finals, there does not appear to be a chance that this week’s “Scandal” ends up matching or beating last week’s episode in adults 18-49. The March 19 episode will, therefore, rank as the lowest-rated thus far this season.

And if the viewership total is not notably upgraded in the finals, it will represent the worst for a “Scandal” episode since April 2013.

The episode notably featured a guest appearance by Lena Dunham.

The aforementioned “American Crime” followed with a reduced 1.2 rating and 5.68 million viewers. Last week’s episode scored a 1.4 rating with 5.76 million.

“Grey’s Anatomy” opened ABC’s night with a 2.1 rating and 7.80 million viewers. It matched last week’s adults 18-49 rating and actually fared better in total viewership.

Written by Brian Cantor

Brian Cantor is the editor-in-chief for Headline Planet. He has been a leading reporter in the music, movie, television and sporting spaces since 2002.

Brian's reporting has been cited by major websites like BuzzFeed, Billboard, the New Yorker and The Fader -- and shared by celebrities like Taylor Swift, Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.

Contact Brian at brian.cantor[at]


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