“Scandal” Spreads: Show Gets Boost In Ratings From Black Viewers As Competition Slips

December 13, 2012  |  

Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP

The Scandal is growing. The ABC show created by Shonda Rhimes saw a boost in black viewers during the first week of December.

According to the Nielsen ratings, Scandal had a 14 percent increase in black households.  While Scandal is soaring, the other other top 25 shows saw a decline. The number one show for the first week of December, Sunday Night Football, had a 20 percent decrease in black viewers in comparison to  the previous week.

Despite the drop  for its Sunday Night Football, the folks over at NBC are happy. NBC was the most watched network among black households. “It attracted 10.5 million viewers for seven shows. In second was CBS with 8.5 million viewers for its eight top shows. Fox took third place with 8.3 million across six shows,” according to Target Market News.

In all, the top 25 shows in black homes, according to Nielsen, saw a 10 percent drop in the total number of viewers from the previous week to 33.3 million.  Besides Sunday Night Football and Scandal, the number two show in black homes, the top 25 also included The OT, the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show,  and Rhimes’s  other creation Grey’s Anatomy.

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  • Author Lisa Eve

    Everyone whose mentioned that Olivia is sleeping with a married man basically is putting all the blame on her. Let’s get real for a minute…it’s not pretty at all. Wives, sometimes the men you think you know who put that ring on your finger, who sit accross from you at the dinner table, who fathered your children, whose last name you took is not who you think they are. Not all, but a whole hell of a lot of them are on the prowl when you’re not around. It takes two…It was HE who stood with you before GOD and made a promise. So as much as it kills you try and hold him accountable as well and stop blaming it all on the women. We know how most men are…you can’t make him keep it in his pants, HE has to want to.

  • Author Lisa Eve

    1Val..wel you must not watch much TV…because other than the biblical Sunday programs that’s all thats on.

  • Author Lisa Eve

    I find this article offensive in its segregating of white audiences from Black. Who cares if more Blacks or Whites are watching? It’s a good show and the numbers prove it. Does it make the show less credible or the actors less believable based on the color of skin f the people watching?… and as for these people standing on their soap boxes, Olivia’s affair is no different than what Dallas did back in the day or these soap operas where everybody is jumping in and out of bed with everyone else married or not. Kerry Washington is not a representation of a Black woman she is representing good actors whose roles transcend across multiple ethnicities. Believe it or not people have affairs all the time. That doesn’t make it right but it’s a fact. It’s great entertainment. That’s all. I’ve ever missed an episode.

  • Liz

    So what do you think of Claire Danes’ character on Homeland, which is winning all those awards? She plays a bipolar woman who acts manic all the time, takes illegal drugs, sleeps with married men, breaks up her boss’ marriage, and stalks a married man after screwing him one weekend. This is the star of the show and I don’t hear one complaint from caucasians or women’s groups or bipolar community about it. You know why? Cause only black people do what you’re doing. You are your own worst enemies and will never ever get anywhere. You would rather the show be cancelled and Kerry Washington and Shonda be out of work than have them be part of a huge hit show that’s just a fricking show! I don’t hear anyone complaining about the extra marital affair on The Good Wife either. Again, only blacks know how to shoot themselves in the damn foot, or rather, in each other’s pockets, where it counts.

    • 1Val

      Never watched Homeland so I lack an opinion of the show. Kerry and Shonda will be just fine with or without Scandal.

    • Author Lisa Eve


  • Jessica

    I’m happy to hear that Scandal’s audience is growing. It’s a great show, and I try to watch it every week. I have a hard time watching it live because I work evenings at DISH, but I catch it on my DVR. It’s set to auto-record on my DISH Hopper along with the other big four primetime network shows using PrimeTime Anytime, so it’s easy for me to watch the show even when I forget to set a timer. It’s definitely a show worth watching, too. Kerry Washington, a rare African-American lead actress for a primetime show, does a fantastic job portraying Olivia Pope.

  • justlikethat

    this is the problem with black people. we complain that we want better representation on the media. but watch shows like bbw and rhoa. so as soon as we get a show like scandal…made by a black woman…starring a black woman in a leadership position….people STILL are not satisfied. i just dont get it. olivia pope is a better light for black women than those other shows. you have to give its praise to show a highly respected black woman in the white house…doing her job by any means necessary to protect the integrity of the country. all the extra drama…sleepin w/ the president (which i love…must admit)…the manipulation and sabotage…its for tv. thats why we watch. im a truly inspired by the role she plays. if it was a wholesome all saints shows….we wouldn’t be talking about it, would we? no. we probably wouldn’t even know it existed. if we continue to show a lack of support whether we like or not…care about it or not, we will continue to forever lose. just like that.

  • I love Scandal because it’s soapy drama. Shonda Rimes write soap opera. This character is based on a real life person. Yeah it’s wrong that Olivia slept with a married man but I love the drama of it and their chemistry. I so want Olivia to have a relationship outside of the President. RIght now she’s with this senator although I wished they would have hired a great looking actor or a “named” actor to play her boyfriend. The writing isn’t as great as Grey’s and I think that’s because Shondra has so many things going on. She was able to concentrate on Grey’s. I just need her to stop and concentrate on Scandal so this show can become huge. That’s why Private Practice never became huge because she didn’t focus on it. That show was a mess.

  • Anndrex

    Thanks to Twitter and Facebook. The Scandal fans really get hyped on show night. Tonight is going to be big for Scandal in Social media. I only started watching because of the buzz on FB. I don’t like the show, however and will not continue to watch. The show is not as great as it’s fans claim it to be. Grey’s Anatomy is much better written, IMO.

    • aciel zoubi

      this is like one of the only few honest that ive read about this show and so far i dont see anything special about it. its not as good as fans say it is. this is not entertainment this is just wrong all this show is basically about is covering up peoples messes if u have influencal people by your side. and have an affair with a married is just wrong, when kids see this show advertised so much it gives them a bad image. i dont watch this show and i dont plan to watch it. this show is just garbage.


  • Love me some Olivia Pope, but i must saw the i love Mellie she does what it takes. lol. This is what true politics is not the i love my wife crap they show you in the media

  • RaVeon

    What doesn’t say much for us “1Val” is you! It would be nice to see blacks supporter other blacks especially in the public. We are our own worst enemies. We tear each other down, by harshly criticizing everything in the public eye. Shonda Rhimes is doing an awesome job and I agree with you Rayjulian85, it is a drama! Drama is suppose to be drama, otherwise it would just be boring. Scandal keeps you in suspense and the fact that the creator and main character are black and on prime time television is awesome.

  • 1Val

    Perhaps it is just must be but I find Scandal to be one of the most trashiest tv shows ever. If Scandal’s Olivia Pope supposedly represents best of black that isn’t saying much for us.

    • Rayjulian85

      Really? We must be watching different shows?! I think she is intelligent, accomplished, and compassionate. There is, of course, all the drama, but it *is* a drama. It’s meant to be entertainment, but I still think its a great representation of a black woman on television. It shows we can be the boss, we can be smart, we can be the best, and yes still be a fool for love. It’s a subconscious thing, but the more people see a black woman as the H.N.I.C on TV, the more they are comfortable with it in real life.

      • 1Val

        Yes, really. No we are watching same show. It is a horrible representation of black women on television. The lead character Olivia Pope is an awful human being. The character is immoral, power hungry and narcissistic. The image of a conniving, deceitful, manipulative, wanton black woman on television is unworthy of praise. Olivia beds a married man, sics her hired gun killer on others to win her cases, everyone in her office/life she manipulates and uses for her benefit. She doesn’t have any family or friends, incapable of telling the truth and will do anything including condoning murder to protect herself.
        Olivia is the best at lying, manipulating, whoring, being a hypocrite and despicable character. Others have always thought of black women as immoral, lascivious and domineering people. Nothing new about that image of us.

        • Anndrex

          I agree. The Olivia Pope character is horrible as a person. The show does not make me feel empowered. She is a user and self righteous. I really wanted to like the show because I am a Shonda Rhimes fan. But I don’t like it and will not be watching. The show IS trashy.

        • Liz

          Really? Black women are thought of as immoral? Because I thought the stereotype was self righteous, bible thumping, truth tellers who bust balls. Which you are doing a good job of reinforcing.

          • 1Val

            Perhaps that is your perception of black women. Regardless of your offense to my opinions it will not alter them. I am not a fan of Scandal. Therefore, I do not watch it.

    • quoia

      I personally would rather see fictional whoring than the “real” whoring we see on reality shows ijs it’s entertainment

      • 1Val

        Thank you for equating Scandal with stereotypical depiction of black women in reality television. There is a correlation of those shows.

        • Author Lisa Eve

          I just read the quote above an she never said “Black” reality TV shows….yu said it.