‘Scandal’ Heads To BET In Early Syndication Deal

BET has acquired off-network rights to ABC’s Scandal.

The network will air seasons one and two the Shonda Rhimes political thriller, which stars Kerry Washington as a crisis manager and professional “fixer.” Original episodes from the upcoming third season will air no sooner than eight days after they are broadcast on ABC.

BET will air the first two seasons of the series with a marathon starting in August, and will continue to air episodes until the third season premiere this fall. The first season is currently available on Netflix, but the BET deal will mark the first time season two has been available outside of ABC and ABC.com. Scandal marks the network’s first syndicated scripted drama acquisition, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“We’re thrilled to be joining forces with ABC in airing this dynamic series,” said Debra Lee, chairman of 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 was renewed for a third season in May, a week before its season two finale, which drew a series high of 9.12 million viewers. The show’s success is largely driven by its social media presence. During new episodes, fans can chat with the cast on Twitter using the hashtag #AskScandal. On Facebook, over 910,000 people have “liked” the series.

Last month, Scott Foley, who played Capt. Jake Ballard, was upped to series regular, even though his character was last seen being subjected to the same fate Huck (Guillermo Diaz) once suffered.

Jake, an old Navy friend of President Fitzgerald Grant (Tony Goldwyn) spent the majority of the season surveilling Olivia for both the president and B613, a black ops organization that Huck also once belonged to. Huck managed to get out… and it appears Jake wants out, too.

“Everybody who we know who’s been in B613, from Huck to Charlie [George Newbern], they all seem to want out, they all seem to be in a position where they don’t like their job,” Foley said. “And maybe Jake’s in the same position — if they want out, why wouldn’t he?”

What do you think of Scandal being picked up by BET?