Ratings debate: Will ABC’s ‘Scandal’ receive a second shot?

Will we see more?

When you are a show that starts up your run in the spring, it’s easy to have some sympathy — there are traditionally fewer viewers at your disposal, but you have to find a way to still convince people to give you an hour out of their busy lives.

For ABC’s new Shonda Rhimes series “Scandal,” the challenge has been a bit one — but has it done enough to earn another season? The show is the subject of our new ratings debate, so read on to find out our full verdict on if a season 2 will see the light of day.

Why it should go – If you look at it from a pure ratings standpoint, “Scandal” is on the low end of shows that are for sure going to be brought back on the network. At the moment the success stories are “Once Upon a Time,” “Castle,” “Revenge,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” and to a lesser extent “Private Practice” — can this series really fit into this picture?

The other issue the show could run into here is that in airing only a small collection of episodes, there is a chance (see: “Body of Proof”) where viewers forget about it entirely in between the spring season and the fall.

Why it should stay – If quality still matters, this show be a pretty safe bet for renewal. “Scandal” is at the moment the best Shonda Rhimes product on ABC, and the first season ahs gotten stronger from week to week.

Also, when you look at the numbers the show has done a good job of staying steady around a 2.0 rating in the key 18-49 demographic ever since it first premiered. Few shows have that sort of retention week-to-week, and while it’s possible that the show could be forgotten over the summer, it’s also possible that some additional fans could be found via online viewings or reruns (should ABC opt to air it again).

Also, the show has not really fared any worse than “Private Practice” was doing following “Grey’s Anatomy” earlier this year — it has actually increased some in viewers, and that is even in spite of airing at a time of the season when fewer people traditionally watch TV.

What will happen – Basically we look at it this way — “Pan Am,” “Missing,” “Body of Proof,” and “GCB” are all shows that are going to be canceled before “Scandal” would be, and the end of “Desperate Housewives” leaves another open spot. With ABC only having four hour-long dramas at the moment they can rely on, they could use another.

We’re not sure whether or not “Scandal” would get a full season or another abbreviated order (which has actually worked out well quality-wise here), but we lean strongly towards it being back for another season. Also, consider this — “Happy Endings” had a similar sort of spring launch to “Scandal” last year, and it increased exponentially in quality during season 2. Imagine what Kerry Washington and company could do in the same situation.

Photo: ABC

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