Not Even Phoebe Buffay Could Bring Bigger Numbers For ‘Scandal’

Lisa Kudrow, ScandalABC

Scandal has been doing better in the ratings, but it’s finishing No. 2 in the ratings for the night in the 18-49 demographic (I’m SO happy to be back in this demographic, since it felt like once I left my mid-30s, no one wanted to hear a dang thing I had to say.) Sure, finishing second for the night is pretty decent, but I’d like to quote the immortal Ricky Bobby from Talladega Nights: “If you’re not first, you’re last!” Though it was the World Series, the show wasn’t helped as much as it might have hoped with the appearance of Lisa Kudrow – it dropped to a 3.0 rating.

Sure, network executives are somewhat more forgiving than racecar people, but not by much. They’ll definitely be interested in seeing how the show does now that the World Series has ended. Kudrow wasn’t enough of a draw to get more people to watch the show, apparently. The question is – why?

One theory is, despite Friends being re-run on at least one channel every hour (I’m serious here: Scroll through your channel listings. There’s going to be a showing on SOMEWHERE. Thank goodness for syndication, huh?), the public just doesn’t have the same fondness. Courtney Cox has had a bit of success on Cougar Town, but it took a cable network to salvage it. Matthew Perry has gone through not one but two shows. Jennifer Aniston is still seeking making movies, but not particularly good ones. (OK, Horribe Bosses was pretty decent.) So it stands to reason that Kudrow might not have the drawing power that she did a decade or so ago. The public’s memory is a short-lived one.

Kerry Washington has done a great job and is becoming a star in her own right (having done a fantastic job hosting Saturday Night Live last weekend, including a hilarious sketch about the show’s purported problems finding African-American women for their cast) and the fact that it was created by Shonda Rhimes works in its favor. Maybe people are still getting used to the fact that it’s no longer following Grey’s Anatomy anymore. It just feels like it could be doing even better than it is.

Baseball is over now. The true test will be on this Thursday. It’s facing a struggling Elementary and Parenthood. It may keep its good numbers, but they’ll have to get even higher to avoid the scandal of possible cancellation. Maybe they can get Will Ferrell to play Ricky Bobby on the show.