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.