'Scandal' Hits Ratings High with 10.51 Million Viewers


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“Scandal” is scorching, and it just got even hotter. The months of anticipation finally reached a erupting point on Thursday as Scandal fanatics around the country tuned in to catch the kick off of season three. Last night, the third season of the ABC political drama premiered, attracting a staggering 10.51 million viewers. USA Today reported that according to the Nielsen preliminary ratings, last night's debut was recorded as a series high.

In case you missed it, here's the gist of last night's scorcher. The Scandal season premiere opened with prolific problem-solver, Olivia Pope, now facing her own life spiraling out of control. Her affair with the president has been made public by a 'Post Style-section reporter.” The episode picks up right where season two ended, with Pope still in the back seat of the limo with Rowan, the head of B613, who is actually her father.

As the limo takes off, he states his disdain about the entire debacle. Daddy Pope is disappointed that Olivia would fall prey to “opening her knees,” and believing in the fairytale that a man of Fitz's status would leave his wife to be with her. He also stated that she'd be the first Fitz would 'throw under the bus' to clear himself.

The episode went on to reveal that a Secret Service Agent actually started the media frenzy stating that Fitz was having an affair with one of his most trusted advisors. However, he claims he did not leak Olivia's name. While the reporter actually didn't have a name at the time, it was enough ammunition to do a little digging. So, the question of the night was who would actually leak Olivia's name?

In a suspenseful twist, it was revealed that Fitz actually did leak Olivia's name – with, of course, the help of one of his secret service agents. He instructed the agent to leak name drop, as a means of protecting her from his wife, Mellie. It's only the beginning, but it definitely leaves a lot of anticipation for the duration of the season.

The debut ratings were up approximately 57% from last fall's season premiere. An estimated 3.6 million of the total number of viewers were comprised of adults ranging from 18-49, which equates to a 71% increase in that particular age range from last year's premiere. Last night's ratings were also an overall 13% increase from the previous viewing record in the season two finale.

Image via Twitter | ABC Scandal