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Olivia Pope is America’s Favorite Fixer: Scandal Wins With Viewers & Brands

From the Saks Fifth Avenue Instagram page.

From the Saks Fifth Avenue’s Instagram page.

The numbers are in and Scandal is a winner.

Thursday’s season three premiere of the ABC hit was the most-watched in the show’s history with 10.5 million people tuning in, a 71 percent increase from last year. And many of those viewers were under 50, making it the top show for ABC for that demographic. Who knew so many people were into PR?

Well we know it also has something to do with the hotness between Kerry Washington’s Olivia Pope and Tony Goldwyn’s President Fitz. And bitter First Lady Mellie. And conniving Cyrus. And loyal Huck… Really, the whole show is magic. And in case you thought there’s no reality to the program, Judy Smith, the DC crisis expert on which Olivia Pope is based, is a consultant on the show. Washington revealed, during a visit to The Daily Show this week, that Smith actually advises the writers on how best to handle the difficult situations that the plot proposes. (Clip after the jump.)

And if that weren’t enough, Scandal style has bewitched the nation. The show’s makeup artist is being interviewed. Olivia’s hair is being analyzed. And her outfits are picked apart. In fact, the white coat she wore during this week’s episode caused a stir on Twitter. (It’s Burberry.) Saks Fifth Avenue picked up on the show’s style and they’re trying to capitalize on it.

Known as “gladiators in suits,” Saks unveiled windows this week with mannequins outfitted in the style of the show’s cast. Featured are designers including Giorgio Armani, Donna Karan and Calvin Klein. The whole cast showed up at the store on Wednesday for the unveiling.

The last time there was this much excitement about a TV show’s fashions had to be Sex & The City, a show that inspired women to run up some serious credit card bills in the pursuit of Manolos, Fendi bags, and “ghetto gold.”  Nowadays, these sorts of collaborations are common, even at high-priced luxury purveyors. Jay Z and Barneys just announced a holiday collection that will include a $34,000 watch.

But in this case, the partnership is with a show whose main actress, both on the program and in real life, is inspiring fashion the way Carrie Bradshaw did (and Sarah Jessica Parker continues to do). People has declared Kerry Washington the world’s best-dressed woman. Washington has also recently graced the covers of a number of fashion magazines, including Elle and GlamourDefinitely someone that a fashion brand will want to hitch their wagon to.

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