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TV Goodness Reports: Katie Lowes, Joshua Malina & Dan Bucatinsky Talk Scandal’s Social Media Success 

Photo Credit: TV Goodness

Scandal is back tonight and we couldn’t be more excited. We’re celebrating with a preview,  our recent article on the cast talking about the art of doing those infamous monologues, and now a little something else.

At this summer’s ATX Television Festival, Katie Lowes (Quinn Perkins)), Joshua Malina (David Rosen) and recent Emmy-winner Dan Bucatinsky (James Novak) talked about how social media has contributed to the success of their show. No doubt, the cast will be out in full force tonight live tweeting the premiere. Yes, the cast plus Scandal creator Shonda Rhimes have definitely turned into social media stars:

JOSHUA MALINA: Early on, Shonda [Rhimes] and Kerry [Washington] were enthusiasts about getting everyone on and tweeting and those that hadn’t embraced it prior — joined.

KATIE LOWES: I was not even on Facebook so I was really not excited — I was scared. I thought you had to be making jokes.

JOSHUA: You do.

KATIE: It seemed very stressful and I just wasn’t into it at all. My husband is hugely into it like Josh Malina. So he really sat me down for a good four-hour twitter lesson. I made mistakes at first. I followed everyone. I thought that that’s what you were supposed to do. I still am following some superfans who DM me really scary things because I didn’t know.

DAN BUCATINSKY: You gotta unfollow.

KATIE: Yeah, but no you don’t because then it gets even scarier.

JOSH: I have sold my follows, truly, for ten bucks a pop to charity. And I think more people should do that.

DAN: I started on twitter because I had a book coming out last year called Does this Baby Make Me Look Straight? And the publisher was like ‘you need to get on Twitter.’ And I’m like ‘I’m on Twitter. I have eight people who follow me and, you know,  maybe one of them will buy the book. And it’s my mom and she’s following me.’ But as time went on you realize that people would follow and other people would tell people to follow you and it became a very interesting thing. And also a very sad way of trying to value your self worth based on a number. Like I am worth…

KATIE: My IMDB rating.

JOSHUA: My concern is just to have my Klout Score on earth. I don’t need the dates of my life or anything. Just the number.

DAN: People in Hollywood are dying for numbers to value you. What your rating is. What your international distribution rating is. What your imdb rating is. Your Twitter following…

KATIE: But it’s been a huge asset for Scandal. I think the difference between the first season and second season and Twitter being involved in that is definitely collaborative for sure. The show has such momentum and Twitter — it literally explodes on Thursday nights. And now ABC sends out press releases like ‘10,000 tweets a minute were going out about Scandal. Scandal was trending six worldwide topics.’ Those things are starting to matter and we really have gotten in on the forefront of that.

JOSHUA: It’s drawing people to watch the show live, which is obviously from a network point of view…

DAN: …is the name of the game.

JOSHUA: And, for us, it’s more fun.

DAN: When we were kids or growing up, the shows that we loved, could you imagine what it would have been like to interact with the people who were on those shows? Whether it was Family Ties or years later…My So-Called Life (laughter because MSCF‘s Wilson Cruz [Rickie Vasquez] was sitting at the round table with us).

WILSON CRUZ: I’ve just been imagining me and Gary Coleman tweeting when you said that.

DAN: Totally.

JOSHUA:  People don’t watch one screen anymore. I think the average person watches between one and two screens. If you average it out. People are — they’re doing this…sometimes my kids are literally like…what the hell is going on? Three screens? Can we limit it to two at a time? So I think we’ve done a canny thing. I don’t know [if] it was a byproduct or somebody’s overall plan but we’ve drawn people to this communal experience of watching this show as it’s happening.

DAN: If I don’t watch Scandal before we live tweet by the end of the episode, I have no idea what happened. I’m like I was busy answering the question about the third scene and…what is happening? And the show moves so fast, you gotta watch it a couple times. There you go, shameless plug. Hashtag Buy the DVD.

This hasn’t been happening with every show why do you think it’s happening with Scandal?

KATIE: I think it’s the entire cast, for the most part, the majority of the cast live tweets every Thursday night.

JOSHUA: Even when you’re shooting.

KATIE: East Coast time. West Coast time. And we tweet reruns.

Does the show lend itself to the Twitter experience?

JOSHUA: Yes. It’s got those great spike-y moments.

KATIE: And one-liners, there are so many — “I’m Quinn, Bitch.” There are so many hashtags — ‘Who Shot Fitz?’ There are just so many of these amazing gems that turn into hashtags. Hashtag HuckleberryQuinn. Hashtag WhatTheHuck? Hashtag Dabby. It’s like all of the shows’ relationships and the one-liners and the zingers and then all of those huge shock moments…

JOSHUA: It’s like you don’t want to watch a horror movie alone in your room you want to go OHHHH!!! with someone else. You go like OHHH!!!! And so I think that’s what you get out of Twitter. You get those WHAT? moments that you share.

KATIE: There are so many ‘Oh My God’ moments that really translate on Twitter. So I do think it’s the show.

Scandal returns tonight with the season three premiere “It’s Handled.” It airs on ABC at 10/9c.



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