GLADIATORS UNITE AS BET NETWORKS ENTERS INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH DISNEY-ABC TELEVISION GROUP TO AIR CURRENT SEASON EPISODES OF "SCANDAL" EIGHT DAYS AFTER EACH EPISODE’S PREMIERE BROADCAST ON ABC
NETWORK TO DEBUT SEASONS ONE AND TWO OF THE POLITICAL DRAMA IN AUGUST LEADING INTO THIRD SEASON PREMIERE ON ABC
NEW YORK – July 15, 2013 – BET Networks announced today that it has licensed the rights to air current season episodes of the hit series “Scandal.” Each episode will air on BET no earlier than eight days after its original broadcast on ABC, exclusively starting in Fall 2013. In addition, BET will debut the first two seasons of the series this Summer on its network, leading into the third season premiere on ABC, and is also licensing the exclusive off-network cable rights to the series starting in Fall 2014.
“Scandal,” which is heading into its third season on ABC, has proved a ratings success, ascending to a series high in its season two finale, drawing 9.1 million viewers. The series consistently dominated in its 10 P.M. time period with key female demos and frequently won with adults 18-49. Attracting an average of 2.8 million African American viewers each week, Scandal is the #1 broadcast series among African Americans.
"We’re thrilled to be joining forces with ABC in airing this dynamic series,” said Debra Lee, Chairman, BET Networks. “‘Scandal’ is a cultural phenomenon that has resonated with viewers for the past two seasons and we’re excited to be part of its continued journey.”
“Scandal” stars Kerry Washington (Django Unchained, Ray) as Olivia Pope, a former communications director to the President of the United States, and owner of a prominent crisis management firm. While she and her staff specialize in fixing the lives of the high-powered political set, they struggle to keep their own lives - and secrets - in check. The series also stars Columbus Short (Stomp the Yard), Tony Goldwyn (Ghost, The Last Samurai), Jeff Perry (Grey’s Anatomy), Guillermo Diaz (Weeds), Darby Stanchfield (NCIS), Katie Lowes (Super 8), and Bellamy Young (Criminal Minds).
“Scandal” was created by Shonda Rhimes ("Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice"). Rhimes also serves as executive producer alongside Betsy Beers ("Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice") and Mark Wilding ("Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice"). “Scandal” is produced by ABC Studios and airs Thursdays at 10:00 P.M. (ET/PT) on the ABC Television Network.
Deal was negotiated for BET Networks by Barbara Zaneri, Executive Vice President, Program Strategy, Scheduling and Acquisitions.
About BET Networks
BET Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the nation’s leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel reaches more than 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom and sub-Saharan Africa. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions: BET.com, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; CENTRIC, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the 25- to 54-year-old African-American audience; BET Digital Networks - BET Gospel and BET Hip Hop, attractive alternatives for cutting-edge entertainment tastes; BET Home Entertainment, a collection of BET-branded offerings for the home environment including DVDs and video-on-demand; BET Event Productions, a full-scale event management and production company with festivals and live events spanning the globe; BET operates in the United Kingdom and oversees the extension of BET network programming for global distribution.
About Disney/ABC Television Group
The Disney/ABC Television Group is composed of The Walt Disney Company’s (NYSE: DIS) global entertainment and news television properties, owned television stations, as well as radio and publishing businesses. This includes ABC Entertainment Group, ABC News, ABC Owned Television Stations Group, Disney Channels Worldwide, ABC Family and SOAPnet, as well as Disney/ABC Domestic Television and Disney Media Distribution. The Company’s equity interest in A+E Networks round out the Group’s portfolio of media businesses.
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