BET scores coup with rights to air new ‘Scandal’ episodes eight days after first-run

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This publicity image released by ABC shows Kerry Washington is in scene from “Scandal.” (AP Photo/ABC, Danny Feld)

BET Networks announced 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 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.

“Scandal” was created by Shonda Rhimes. Rhimes also serves as executive producer alongside Betsy Beers and Mark Wilding . “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.

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