There will be less Scandal on ABC‘s schedule this season than originally planned. The network has reduced the order for the hot Shonda Rhimes drama from 22 to 18 episodes. The network wouldn’t give a reason for …
It’s Anthony Weiner Week on broadcast TV! Two primetime drama series announced they will air competing Weiner-esque storylines, political scientists have navel-lint gazed in press reports about the phenomenon, and The Reporters Who Cover Television are poised …
UPDATED: Scandal’s third-season debut topped Nielsen’s first weekly Twitter TV ratings, bagging about 713,000 tweets reaching a Twitter audience of 3.7 million. (On TV, the third season debut of ABC’s Washington soap clocked an average of 10.5 million viewers.) Miley Cyrus came in second and third in Nielsen’s Twitter ratings report. At No. 2, her MTV documentary, Miley: The Movement ginned up 142,000 tweets, reaching about 3.2 million on Twitter. That was followed by Saturday Night Live, on which Cyrus played host and music act, which generated nearly 176,000 tweets reaching 3.146 million people on Twitter. These numbers come the same day Twitter officially unveiled the ratings measure, which considers the number of people who read TV-related tweets, not just the number of writers.
Not surprisingly, the Twitter Top-10 for the week of September 30 included lots of competition — competition-series fanatics love to tweet while viewing. The two episodes of NBC’s singing competition series The Voice checked in at No. 4 and No. 5, and ABC’s revamped Dancing With The Stars finished No. 8. Even Fox’s struggling The X Factor made the Top-10 list — twice — ranking No. 9 last Tuesday with 255.2 tweets reaching 2.039 million, and No. 10 on Wednesday with 188,000 tweets reaching more than 1.8 million people on Twitter. These numbers bear little resemblance to the TV ratings. Certain shows are Twitter crack, but not necessarily ratings magnets — we call it The Sharknado Effect. (Remember how the media predicted Syfy’s orgy of bad special effects had been a ratings phenom after seeing people go nuts over it on Twitter only to have to back-peddle when the ratings came in and they were totally meh?)
Joanne Kelly, who is finishing a five-year run on Syfy’s top-rated drama Warehouse 13, has been tapped for a major recurring role on the new CBS drama Hostages. She plays Vanessa, an ambitious ambassador and the sister of the First Lady of the United States (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio). Kelly is with Domain and Joannie Burstein.
Heroes alum Jack Coleman has been cast in a multi-episode arc on ABC’s Scandal. Per Shonda Rhimes’ gag order, little is known about his character Daniel Douglas, who is a charming Southerner with ties to one of the gladiators. He’s repped by Domain and Framework.
Matt Webb Mitovich is an AwardsLine contributor.
Looking for a female TV character who’s as fierce in her work life as she is in her (messy) love life? It’s been handled. As Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal, Kerry Washington – building on a career that has included Oscar-winning films such as Ray and Django Unchained - stands in the eye of a pop-culture storm, fronting a show that drops jaws with astounding frequency, makes Twitter all atwitter and offers, at long last, a chance for a black woman to win a lead drama actress Emmy.
AwardsLine: You have said that your decision was not so much to do TV, but to do a Shonda Rhimes show.
Kerry Washington: Even more so, my decision was to do this show. When I read the script, I was blown away. And knowing that this (was a Rhimes production) reinforced the idea that this could be a really amazing opportunity.
AwardsLine: With your first full season behind you, how has the product met the promise?
Washington: I will just say that the level of excellence that the people around me produce on a daily basis continues to astound me. The writing that I’m able to hold in my hands, the level of acting I’m surrounded by, the cinematographers, the costume design—all of it feels like a magical product.
Diane Haithman is a contributor to Deadline.
Scandal fans watched tonight’s jam-packed season finale and received a major revelation SPOILER ALERT! SPOILER ALERT! because of a single line (“Dad???”). The ABC drama’s ’gladiators’ as they are called heard it live at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at the end of the first-ever onstage table read of the show using the finale script. The session ended about 10 minutes into the 10 PM PT airing. The cast whooped and hollered too. “The satisfying part is, I knew all along,” Morton crowed as the cast finished reading Act 6 which revealed that Rowan (Joe Morton) is the father of Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington). At the top of the session, show creator/executive producer Shonda Rhimes said she hoped the experiment would give the audience a feeling of what it’s like to be in the room at a real table read. Washington said she didn’t know that would be a plot twist until the first table read of the script. “I grew up in a household where Joe Morton is a great American hero,” she said. “Every week I would say: ‘Joe, I really hope we have some scenes together. He’d say: ‘We do. We do.’ ”
ABC is changing things up in scheduling some of its serialized dramas. Taking a page from the cable model, the network will air what ABC president Paul Lee called “a selected group” of dramas in two uninterrupted runs, one in the fall and one in the spring, bridged by limited series. The series that will follow the new scheduling pattern include Once Upon A Time, Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and likely Revenge, with others TBD. So far, the network only has set up a bridge series for Once, new adventure reality series The Quest. Lee said such bridge series won’t necessarily be all unscripted. Two cycles of 12 episodes would bring the total orders for the shows to 24, which is hard on a complex, serialized drama, but Lee indicated that number has not been set in stone. He said that the network is looking to further shake up the traditional broadcast scheduling model with “quality launches” throughout the season. Lee also said that new fall drama Betrayal is designed as a limited series, airing 12-13 episodes a season. The same applies to midseason drama Resurrection, which will replace it in the Sunday 10 PM slot in midseason.
Related: ABC 2013-14 Schedule