Shonda Rhimes who is the TV show writer of Scandal, is a celebrity in the ABC production network. She has written many of ABC’s most valued TV shows such as Grey’s Anatomy and more recently How to Get Away with Murder. She is an icon in the production world and has mastered how to make a successful TV show. Scandal was one of her main successes that she got a lot of attention for. She included many different aspects and dimensions to Scandal than she did with her other shows and that’s where the majority of the success came from.
One of the main reasons as to how Scandal became such a success is from its social media community. Throughout the years social media has become a huge part of everyone’s every day life and TV networks are now finding ways to use it to their advantage. Scandal has mastered how to use social media especially twitter, to tie in its audience and how to gain a larger audience. The most cleaver way they took advantage of this was getting its whole cast involved. Every Thursday when there is a new episode of Scandal, there is an opportunity for its fans to live-tweet on twitter with the ‘gladiators’ of Scandal. The gladiators are Olivia Pope and her team; they are the ones that take on the different crises that are presented at the beginning of each episode. For example Katie Lowes who is one of the gladiators tweeted, “Next week!!! What’s next????? Same time same place…. The #Scandal continues! Meet us at #AskScandal! Until then #Gladiators spread the word!” This makes fans feel as if they are important and that their ideas and questions are not only getting heard by other fans but from their favorite members of the cast. The goal that they had was to have the cast create tweets that will get their fans excited throughout the week for next weeks new episodes.
They also have a very unique target demographic and an interesting way that they targeted each individual category. The African-American demographic has been a huge contribution to the success of Scandal. Olivia Pope is the leading role in this show and does an absolutely outstanding job. Her character is represented to be strong, independent and an inspiration. This is the first show in a extremely long time to have an African-American female role and this caught a lot of attention. What interesting about Scandal is that they don’t focus their target audience solely around the African- American community. They didn’t want people to tune into the show because of racial issues so they shied away from incorporating issues around that idea into their story line. Aside from the main lead being African-American, the majority of the cast was white and this is where they got their white demographic audience. Their main focus was to put emphasis on the idea that we are all unique and important regardless of the color of our skin. For example in the show she is represented to be the leader of her pack of gladiators but without her gladiators she would be nothing as well. They did an awesome job at finding the balance between these two demographic groups to keep them both involved and interested with the show.
Another reason why Scandal is so successful was because of the way that it followed the real life of Judy Smith that was represented as the Olivia Popes character. Judy Smith was a real life crisis manager that helped to protect the lives of many important people in our history. Some of her clients were celebrities such as Paula Dean, Kobe Bryant, Michael Vick and former white house intern Monica Lewinsky. Those only being a few of the real life scandals, many other recent crisis such as the NSA spying on US citizens being leaked to the public were also included throughout the series. Many people knew about her and looked up to her as an inspiration. Her life goal was to get justice for the people that deserved it and to help protect their reputation throughout the crisis.
Shonda Rhimes was a genius when it came to knowing how to keep the audience coming back week after week. The main storyline was to was the interpersonal relationships between Olivia Pope and everyone around her. Their was a story behind every relationship that she had with each character and every episode a little more would get released throughout the series. For example she has saved each of her gladiators at the lowest point of their life’s and she takes them in and makes them a gladiator to save them. As the series goes on each story eventually gets told, for example Abby one of the gladiators was brutally beaten by her ex, Olivia found a way to help her and keep her secret and also got her justice. Abby’s way to repay Olivia was to help her at her crisis firm and soon enough the gladiators became her new family. This base story line is what keeps people coming back week after week because usually at the end this is some type of cliff hanger that will relate to one of Olivia’s relationships. On top of the main plot they have crisis that are presented to Olivia and her firm at the beginning of each episode. The whole episode goes back in forth between the main plot and also how they are working to solve the crisis that was presented. At the end of each episode they will state the solution of whatever the case they took on was. Unlike most shows that either choose to have one main plot that continue from week to week or to have a problem presented at the beginning and solved at the end like CSI, Scandal manages to use both techniques and this is where a majority of their success comes from.
Over all Shonda Rhimes did an amazing job at including many different aspect and dimensions to the show that resulted in its large success. It has so many unique twists and turns that make you want to come back each week to see what happens next. The use of social media and twitter especially has helped extensively to spread the word about the show and to get people interested and to also keep people interested. Scandals large diverse target demographic was also a huge contribution to the shows success. All of these dimensions highly contributed to the shows success and after watching it and studying it it’s almost impossible to not get addicted to.