Ratings: ‘Scandal’ season 4, ‘American Crime’ fall further; ‘American Idol’ steady

What is going on with “Scandal” this spring? It was not that long ago we were discussing the series as one of the biggest commercial success stories possible. Now, we are instead seeing it settle down to a level that is pretty close to “NCIS,” “Survivor,” and not that far away from “Grey’s Anatomy” in the demo.

So why did the Kerry Washington series draw a season-low 2.4 rating in the 18-49 demographic? The biggest answer to that would be to blame NCAA basketball, but we don’t really sense that there is really that large of a crossover audience between college sports and Olivia Pope. It also still have a good lead-in, and it has done well in the past against “The Blacklist.” We blame most of the show’s woes for it struggling a little creatively the past few weeks (save for the excellent “The Lawn Chair”), and also for just not being the cool, hip show anymore. “Empire” has taken that title this year away from both “Scandal” and its Shonda Rhimes counterpart “How to Get Away with Murder,” which ended its season weeks ago.

“Scandal” can still be a very solid hit for ABC, but we’re not sure it will ever be the smash it was during parts of season 3 again.

Elsewhere, “American Crime” fell yet again to a 1.2, which to us is a further indication that this is a show on its way towards ending sooner rather than later. “American Idol” earlier in the night matched its 1.8 rating from last week, and should improve once it is switched over to Wednesday nights again. “The Blacklist” improved slightly to a 1.8 for what proved to be a very big episode.

What’s your theory for the lower “Scandal” ratings: Competition, a creative slump, Daylight Savings Time, or something else? Share with a comment.

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