(Photo : ABC/Nicole Wilder)
Shonda Rhimes' incredibly successful political drama "Scandal" marked yet another achievement when it was picked up for early syndication on the Viacom-owned cable network BET. According to The Hollywood Reporter, which reported the news first, the network will air the first and second season of the ABC drama in a marathon starting in August.
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The agreement will also allow BET to air episodes of the upcoming third season no sooner than eight days after they're aired on ABC. According to THR, the deal between the two networks will also extend to any addition season the drama has.
"We're thrilled to be joining forces with ABC in airing this dynamic series," BET chairman Debra Lee said. "'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."
THR reported that the syndication deal comes in earlier than normal-networks usually wait until the 100th episode to shop around for syndication deals-and that the deal could help expand the show's core demographic. Other shows to follow the early syndication market include ABC's "Modern Family," which was acquired by USA Network in 2010, and Fox's "Glee," which was picked up by Oxygen during its first season.
"Scandal" is BET's first syndicated scripted drama procurement, THR reported.
The Shonda Rhimes' political drama based on a Washington fixer (played by actress Kerry Washington) shot to popularity shortly after its first season and solidified its core fan base during last year's second season. Although a third season premiere date has not been scheduled, Rhimes announced that the season's first table read is this Thursday.
Rhimes told her more than 400,000 Twitter followers, "Scandal season premiere table read is Thursday!" The popular TV show creator also discussed her hugely successful medical drama "Grey's Anatomy" in two earlier tweets.
"Scandal" returns for its third season this fall on ABC.