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ABC’s Drama’s are Losing Ratings! Are Shonda’s Shows Slipping?

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By: Evette Champion

If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past few years, you’re probably familiar with Shonda Rhimes and her incredible television shows. These shows, all of which air on ABC, Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, and How to Get Away with Murder being her latest have dominated the air waves for a while now; and, it seems like the formula that she follows for these shows all seem to work.

What’s that formula, you ask?

  • A strong female lead character like Dr. Meredith Grey, Olivia Pope, and Annalise Keating
  • High pressure settings like the hospital, White House, or a law school/crime scenes
  • Love triangles galore
  • Someone cheating on someone else in these love triangles
  • Student/Teacher or Mentor/Mentee dynamic
  • Work place romance
  • Tragic deaths no one see’s coming
  • Monologues that have you feeling things
  • Tons of eye candy
  • Actors mingling on other shows
  • Awesome soundtracks

This formula has worked wonderfully for Shonda in the past, but does she have what it takes to make it keep working? There has to be a point where the formula stops working and it just comes predictable.

Maybe… that is exactly what is happening with these heavy hitting shows. All three shows were down from last week’s midseason premiers—two of which dropped to all-time lows, something that is a bit alarming for fans. Scandal and How to Get Away with Murder each dropped .4 of a point in their key demographic. Scandal averaged a 1.7 rating among those between 18 to 49 and HTGAWM averaged 1.4 in the same demographic. Grey’s was down too, by .2 of a point, but it still lead the way with a 2.2 rating out of all the adult shows in the 18 to 49 crowd.

So, what does this mean for Shonda fans? Who knows. We do hope that if something happens to our favorite dramas, we at least get some kind of closure.

Fingers crossed the ratings come back up and we don’t lose these strong female characters that we so desperately need on television!

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