Scandal’s ratings have steadily declined since the “Olivia is kidnapped and sold via an internet auction” story arc ended:
February 19 – 3.3 adults 18-49 rating (Olivia is rescued)
March 5 – 3.0 adults 18-49 rating (Ferguson-inspired episode)
March 12 – 2.7 adults 18-49 rating (first episode during daylight savings)
March 19 – 2.4 adults 18-49 rating (Lena Dunham guest stars)
March 27 – 2.3 adults 18-49 rating (Cyrus gets married)
April 2 – 2.1 adults 18-49 rating (season low)
That’s a huge 36 percent drop in six weeks.
Fans have speculated that viewers have tuned out for reasons ranging from creative issues including episodes dealing with polarizing topics (police shootings and Lena Dunham’s continued existence), the return to the “case of the week” format of earlier seasons, and discontent with the Olivia’s kidnapping arc, to external factors (NCAA basketball tournament, daylight savings, the end of the TGIT line-up since lead-out How To Get Away With Murder finished its season early). The April 2 episode ended with a cliffhanger — the return of Olivia’s father, Rowan. Will that be enough to improve the ratings, or are Scandal’s days as a Thursday powerhouse over? Make your predictions.