Networks Soliciting Fans for Advice on Failing Shows


ABC Wants Your Opinions On Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder

Looks like ABC is taking cues from Fox and is actively soliciting advice from fans on social media. For those of you out of the loop, both Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder have taken a major tumble in the ratings this season. As of last night, Scandal pulled in just over five million viewers with a 1.7 demo, while How to Get Away with Murder fared a bit worse, with just over four million viewers and a 1.4 demo. Series lows for both shows.

ABC reached out to fans about Scandal’s plunging ratings a few weeks back, soliciting advice via Twitter, Facebook and even e-mail. I was shocked to find a questionnaire in my inbox asking me how I felt about B613, if I was an Olitz shipper and even whether or not I felt Shonda Rhimes was a good showrunner.

ABC’s decision to turn to the fans for answers as to why several of their once popular shows are now struggling in the ratings is nothing new. Fox did the same thing during season two of Sleepy Hollow, going so far as to solicit advice from bloggers.

As only a passing fan of both Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder, I don’t feel qualified to really give advice on either show. But if I could tell ABC anything, it would be to LISTEN. Don’t ask and then disqualify the opinions of those who made you a success.

Shonda Rhimes made headlines a few months ago when she said she was taking her shows back from the fans. To that I say, good for her. But what’s the purpose of having a show no one wants to watch because you’re not giving them what they want to see? Yeah, Shonda and the writers may love B613, but do the fans? ABC didn’t hire Shonda to create shows she likes, they hired her to create shows the public would like. That’s how they make money. No fans, no money. And every week Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder drop in the demo, the less money ABC makes and the more likely they are to drop both shows.

Scandal fans in particular are very opinionated. And while some of them can be over the top, they are fans. They put you on the map and they can just as easily wipe you off the face of it. So if they tell you to drop Olake, B613 and the push to turn Mellie into the show’s protagonist, then you had better listen, because the price of not listening is fandom desertion and eventual cancellation.


  1. Scandal is not is a political platform. They have made a Olivia a selfish, boring, criminal whore. Nobody wants to see that. Nobody. The best actors on the show Tony, Bellamy and Perry talents are underused. Forget the gladiators as all of them are boring, self-serving and just mediocre actors- do a show about the president and his wife and life….there’s the real story.

  2. How to Get Away with Murder became too confusing. I got lost in the first season and didn’t come back for the second.

    Scandal has become sick and perverted. Olivia is a gun for hire. She’ll work for anyone if the price is right. Melly Grant had a whole bus of jurors killed and now Olivia wants to help her become president. She’s truly become a high priced mammy. The show disgusts me.

  3. There is no saving either show. Once fans bail they rarely if ever come back. HTGAWM is really good this season though. It was a bit shaky but got better. Both shows deal with a lot on controversial topics and that might be running a few people off too. Too bad. It’s only in its second season. It’ll most likely be canceled after next season. Only Grey’s seem to holding strong, even after 11 years.

  4. Lay off all the gay sex and gay pandering. Bring back cases of the week. Stop pandering to shippers. They are blind and only care about one thing. The Olitz shippers especially are full of white boy thirst. Many are downright crazy. They secretly think Kerry and Tony are a couple and that he’s the real father of Kerry’s child. The Scandal fandom is full of dysfunctional college educated thirsty as f@$!#ck women.

  5. Don’t watch HTGAWM, but I do watch Scandal and that show is so bad right now. There’s not a more badly written lead character on TV than Olivia Pope is. Everything is so bad with the show, I can’t see how it can make any sort of comeback. Too much has been ruined.

  6. No. Olitz shippers are not thirsty as f$!@#k for ‘white boy’ anything. They want to see something similar to the deep love portrayed in these characters from the first couple of seasons of the show using smart writing and interesting plot lines. If Tony Goldwyn’s character had originally been a ‘black boy,’ but felt the same about Olivia, Olitz shippers would feel the same way. For them it’s not the race of the characters that hooked them on the show, it was gifted writing and interesting plots. Not interracial thirstiness.

    Some of the fans are a bit over the top, but the vast majority just want to see a well written show with plausible characters, interesting plot lines, and a level of intimacy that makes sense. Not the weird perversion that has become that sad show.

  7. And don’t even let me start on HTGAWM. That show started off so good. It had the coolest concept using this smart leading black female character in this position of power with a team of young and attractive ambitious lawyers-to-be, that unfortunately has descended into the lead character’s degradation through icky bi-sexual confusion and plot lines that just don’t make logical sense.

    Shonda Rhimes’ seems to have a somewhat sick mind. It makes me wonder what kind of sexual hang-ups she is dealing with in your own personal life to right her leading characters in such a degrading way.

  8. I got this comment from another poster and it perfectly describes by feelings on Scandal.

    “Anonymous asked: This show has elevated every woman but Olivia. Abby went from battered divorcee to White house press secretary, Mellie from ignored wife to presidential candidate, Susan from village klutz to presidential candidate, Quinn from nobody to badass assassin, Liz from random pol to chief of staff. Olivia went from Washington fixer and love of the president’s life, to CEO of a failing business and assassin’s side piece. She was written to refuse the role of First Lady to work for the former First Lady”.

  9. Wendy,
    I’m getting a homophobic and racial hatred vibe from you. You’re probably one of the ride-or-die chicks who will stay with their Black man with his multiple baby mamas and prison record. Olitz is what many of the fans what to see. The ratings have dropped almost 50% since the season premiere. Olitz is broken. Hopefully, there will be a an Olitz 2.0 where there communicate and work on their problems.

  10. Olitz will never be together because Shonda hates shippers and the more aggressive you all become the more she fights against what you want. Why haven’t shippers figured this out? Shippers are the reason why McDreamy was killed off. Shonda wants you all to know who’s in charge and that she won’t bow down. Want Olitz to happen? Stop demanding it and watch what she does. Shonda is a black woman and will not be bullied.

  11. The hubris of a creator/head-writer. It is condescending and rude for to respond to loyal viewers who made the show if you don’t like the Scandal don’t watch. Guess what? I know that.

    So she’s left with less than half of her previous viewership at 4.88 million her advice is well taken. For me, continuity is a serious issue.

    Scandal can go tomorrow and I’ll still be watching TV; I will not be bullied either.

  12. “She was written to refuse the role of First Lady to work for the former First Lady”

    Oh my goodness, this is so true. Even as a passing viewer this turned me off.

  13. @Cyberologist, how much power do you think you the fans should have over shows you watch? Should you the fans create the storylines or should the writers create the storylines?

  14. Nothing makes sense anymore on either show, is what’s turned me off. Olivia can’t make up her damn mind about what she wants and makes everyone’s lives miserable as a result.
    And HTGAWM is full of abhorrable characters and a now tired premise of a murder mystery.

    Not sure if they even really are listening to fans now, but somehow I doubt I’ll be seeing the changes I need to come fall. Sleepy Hollow’s taught me a hard lesson about supposed fandom power.

  15. Fans have no power at all. Sleepy Hollow taught me that too Ian. The bigger picture though is that it seems when a black woman is the lead she’s belittled in order to lift up secondary characters around her. It’s definitely the case with Scandal and Sleepy Hollow. Don’t know about HTGAWM. It got really confusing and I stopped watching. And the reason why Greys is still popping is because Meredith has never been subjugated to lift up other characters.

  16. In the beginning Scandal was a smart, sophisticated grown and sexy show, it had a strong foundation of a sharp intelligent woman with faults and flaws. Yes it’s SR’s show and she can do with it what she wants, but to become jealous of the outcome of the show is simply stupid. She “wrote” these characters, these stories and now doing everything she can to destroy her and them. To clamor and call out fans is so self-servicing and obnoxious of her and fan critics….as a fan of Scandal I can say it’s become unbelievable confusing and silly. The “choose myself” shit is exactly what that is SHIT.She chooses to be an empty-headed, alley-cat dick sucking silly person, she does not carry herself like a woman or lady. We are to believe that she’d rather be floor-fucking tramp than Go To Work!! There was no need to get Marcus, he’s never used, OPA is now non-exsistent, HER COMPANY, there’s no more OMG!! For me now it’s M-F-P…
    Mother-Fucker-Please!! As a woman I’m disappointed in the demeaning, destroying and degradation of a woman,and a woman of color. There are no more plots,cases,intrigue, smart storylines now it’s just characters languishing and meandering through confusion and not well written shit.NOTHING makes sense of this show now….
    And this creepy daddy shit….. Papa “teaches and trains”men to go f**k his daughter… He wants Olivia to come and “hang out” and be with him and her “brother” Really….if that ain’t sick and incestuously silly, I don’t know what is….. Why the f**k is Sally,Papa,Tom,Susan,David, Joke(cause that’s what that ofake shit is…. a joke),Liz and any other of the countless, endless parade of (THOTS),now this show is no more than Suck and Fuck now. The storylines just aren’t believable, the characters are unbelievable convoluted and confusing……..just like SR is “taking her show back from the fans” I’m taking my viewer ship back from that “mindless drivel”that’s called Scandal…

  17. OMG! This female thinks we want to see Jake Ballard with Olivia? Hecky No! I ship Olitz! I fell in love with them.Not JAKE BALLARD,! He is hated in fandom.He is the problem.He is a stalker a woman abuser and He killed James.We hate him.Olitz has chemistry sensuality they a soulmates. This woman is pissing us off.She killedFitz’s baby on 509 that is why we are super pissed! SHONDA BETTER Fix Olitz and quick cause if she don’t more will leave and when she is ready to put them together no will believe her or trust her.He must leave the show peroid. NO MANNING him up he to leave…Olivia’s Name on Twitter is Olivia Rhimes cause the old Pope we new on season’s 1& 2 would never have done episode 509..

  18. The bigger picture though is that it seems when a black woman is the lead she’s belittled in order to lift up secondary characters around her.

    Say that!

    Except I do not feel that way with HTGAWM. I’m liking this season. I’m liking having a character like Annalise for study.

    How to save your shows, Shonda? Just write good material. Go back to the way you wrote season one of Scandal and HTGAWM. Focus on Olivia “Fixing it” and remove her from the horrid love-triangle of the Prez and Jake from State Farm. Bring back the classroom discussion and learning on how to get away with murder with actual cases. Understandable that Annalise is taking some time off to get right after being shot in the gut—understandable also that the mysteries of the past are revealing themselves, but don’t let that take over what made the show(s) great to begin with. Liv and Team doing their work. Annalise and her “chilren” solving cases in a court of law. Do not get so bogged down in the personal. And while many say don’t pander to shippers — don’t completely rebel against them, either. There has to be a happy medium.

  19. I love how to get away with murder, but I’m totally over scandal. I’m sick of Oliva being F’d by President Fitz! The story line is stell and I’ve lost interest in the show. On Thursday I always watch the black list it my favorite show. HTGAWM comes on really late and I work a 9 to 5 so it’s hard for me to stay up and watch it, but I always record the show. Season one of HTGAWM was the bomb focus on creating story lines like season one

  20. Seems like all the “white boy thirst” is coming from Shonda herself. All of the Olivia and Jake sex scenes are gratuitous and don’t further the plot in any way. They all look like Shonda is writing out her sex fantasies of Scott Foley. The last episode had FOUR white boys (and 1 brown boy) running around without their shirts. She also seems to think that people who loved Olivia and Fitz together only care about sex and it’s not true. We care that Fitz built Olivia a house even more than we cared about them spending all night christening it. It was a visible goal for them.

    I think it’s too late for us to ask that Olivia and Annalise be treated with respect. Shonda has informed us that they are both “thots”. When people complained, she just said to look somewhere else for role models. I guess to Shonda, thots and role models are mutually exclusive. (For black females anyway. You don’t get to call Meredith Grey a whore.)

  21. The Scandal fans have been voicing our opinions since the end of Season 3. Shonda Rhimes became insolent and said she’s not writing for the fans. And if we don’t like the writing/show then please stop watching. So a lot of us did as she instructed and decided not to watch. We understand that she had a different direction for the show and not so much Olitz. But Olitz put Scandal on the map. And Scandal used to be the top Prime timer for TGIT. TONY GOLDWYN and Kerry Washington took TGIT by storm and kept everyone glued to their TV’s and waiting with bated breath for the next episode. Now Olitz, especially, is unrecognizable their characters have been assassinated and the writing is nonsensical with no follow through or consistency/continuity. Shonda wants shock value instead of telling a complete story. Well she got her way and now the ratings have dropped, episodes don’t follow through from what happened the week before, you skip months in the story telling with no consistency in what the full picture was initially .. the thought was never finished. Scandal is all over the place. Fitz has been emasculated and made to look totally incompetent. Olivia’s character has turned from being formidable to a complete whore who is non formidable with a serious case of PTSD and no plans of seeking mental help. I’m truly disgusted, as a woman of color, to see Olivia’s character turned into a complete mockery. No one wants to see that!! And I would think that Judy Smith would be feeling some kind of way as well since Olivia Pope’s character was to be somewhat fashioned after her? If Olitz made the show and it ain’t broke why fix it. We had a great chance for a great story with a woman of color in a lead role to be a great role model for other young women of color to aspire to. We had a chance for one of the greatest love stories, on Prime time TV. A great chance to see a woman have it all: great job, a man who truly loves her, respect from all those who know her. Why can’t there be real true love with a possible happy ending? It’s very hard to get excited about B-613 being shoved in our faces, watching story lines that make no sense, seeing the lead actor’s characters being assassinated and not being able to see some continuity and consistency from one episode to another. If ABC and Shondaland isn’t writing for the fans and the fans are the ones keeping the show running then who and what are you writing for? I just wish that someone would listen to us fans and consider what we’re saying to you. No, we’re not all professional writers or story tellers. But we are intelligent, know what we’d like to see and when know and understand good writing when we see it and don’t. Instead of insulting us juse consider how we feel.

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