Once Upon a Time, Scandal and More: Which ABC Show Got the Best New Oscar Night Promo?

With potentially 40 million viewers tuning into Sunday night’s broadcast of the 85th Academy Awards, ABC whipped up some brand-new promos to tout the soon-to-premiere Red Widow as well as familiar fare such as Once Upon a Time and Scandal.

RELATED | Report: Once Upon a Time Seeks New Mad Hatter for Possible Spin-Off

Thanks to, among others, the industrious team over at YouTube.com/TelevisionPromos, here are the spots showcasing the “epic” Once, sexy Scandal, “Fame”-ous Nashville and moody Red Widow (which TVLine premiered over the weekend).

Once Upon a Time

(Kerry Washington spent a whole day shooting this promo, I hear. It has a James Bond-y feel
that complemented the Oscars’ tribute to the spy franchise’s 50th anniversary that led into it,
and aired right before Kerry Washington presented an award)

Red Widow

(This is the full, two-minute-plus version of the Oscars promo)

And here, the new episode of TVLine’s Spoiler Alert! shares scoop on Once Upon a Time
as well as Grey’s Anatomy, plus good news for Castle fans:

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. a says:

    Damn, I hope Revenge gets a promo even a fraction as good as they one they had last year.

  2. stanatic47 says:

    where is our castle promo ?

  3. Candice says:

    Scandal! Hot, hot, hot. Olivia and Fitz are my obsession at the moment so I’m all about anything that promotes them!

    • Rubye says:

      SCANDAL IS VERY VERY HOT and I love it! The show has such great actors that perform in a manner that is feeding off of each other’s thoughts! It is fast moving, fast pace, romantic, drama, intriguing and has great sex appeal. I have so many friends who love this show; we can’t get enough of it. Enough with the repeats right now, let’s get going on the new episodes. This show is definitely Washington insiders/outsiders, those who have power and try to abuse it like Hollis TRIED; I was so glad that my man HUCK had a great part to play he is awesome too! He saved Hollis’ life. The show shows versatility, no gender bias, issues that face our world today and the writer is not scare to address them, I applaud his/her story lines, unique way of bringing out and confronting the issues head on and what it would be like if a President were in love or had an affinity towards someone who was on his staff or has left his staff, but they still love each other from afar. I love this show, keep it going and many others do also! ABC, this is indeed a winner!

  4. Melinda says:

    I don’t like that Scandal promo. It just seems like a drama about lovesick girl who’s in love with the president. Kerry Washington is so much more than that.

    • theOtherMonique says:

      I’m a BIG SCANDAL fan, but I HATED the promo. I totally agree. It just sounded like a show about the President’s mistress. Eh…if I hadn’t watched the show before, I wouldn’t want to start based on that promo. I wouldn’t want to watch a show about Monica Lewinsky. There was no mention of her being a fixer, or even a professional. Eh…

    • Tracy Elliott says:

      I agree…I think they are short siding the series. It is so much more than that, but I guess sex sells. Oh well.

    • Alice says:

      I agree. While I love the Olivia-Fitz tension, I would not be watching the show still if it didn’t have such great twisty conspiracy plots, good supporting cast, and if Liv wasn’t one of the smartest female characters on television.

    • Plum says:

      Loved the promo; it was Olivia as Bond Girl, very old 60’s glam which suited the retro Oscars.

  5. Lysh says:

    I was hoping for some new scenes in the Once, but it was pretty epic.

  6. Barbara says:

    scandal promo was better…but I love Once upon a time too :)

  7. Louise says:

    omg scandals was amazing i have watched it like 5 times already completly in love

  8. Lorena says:

    I dont watch Scandal, but the promo was stunning

  9. Gigi says:

    In a word … SCANDAL!

  10. sara says:

    Considering they just used old clips from various episodes, Once’s was a pretty big flop rather than epic.

  11. Mike says:

    I enjoyed the ONCE promo, but from someone who does not watch Scandal, the promo made me want to, so I think that means its good.

  12. Khorrie says:

    The Once promo looks like it was made to promote a new series, not one in the middle of its second season. Haven’t heard a thing about Red Widow until now and that promo certainly didn’t make me in any way interested in finding out more.

  13. christy says:

    Scandal! For sure!!

  14. JL says:

    “EVERY SINGLE WEEK”? Someone’s got a sense of humor…

  15. keila says:

    Hell, I wish Revenge would get writing even a fraction as good as last year.

  16. Lilly says:

    I’d say Once Upon a Time’s, simply because Scandal’s looked like it was a perfume or vodka commercial and that threw me off (I didn’t even realize that it was for Scandal until the last few seconds) but it was beautiful, oh and the “every single week” line killed me because it’s been nothing but breaks since the show got off of winter hiatus. Red Widow’s didn’t draw me in at all so I imagine that will be a show I’m skipping. But the Once promo should have used a few new scenes rather than old ones, but I’d still choose it over the other two.

  17. Megan S. says:

    Scandal’s promo was AMAZINGLY HOTTTT!! Love Fitz & Liv! For those of you who don’t watch Scandal…u need to!! You will NOT be disappointed at all!! Love it!

  18. tahina says:

    Red Widow looked great for new show..ok but also want to see Castle’s. Thanks!

  19. And Revenge’s Oscars Promo?!?!?! D:!!!
    And So Hot Scandal’s :D

  20. Eric says:

    Maybe they should give Happy Endings a promo. Then maybe it will finally get the audience it deserves.

  21. Ana says:

    Scandal fan but that promo was the worst. The line of every inch of your body is a scandal makes the show sound like it takes place in a seedy massage parlor and Olivia is a high priced hooker. Seriously, what is up with ABC? And the OUAT promo is like a compilation of.the worst special effects that have ever aired on the show. I didn’t even bother with Red Widow because that one is DOA.

  22. Grace says:


    except this one

  23. Morgen says:

    Scandal by a long shot. Don’t even remember the OUAT promo, even though that’s my fave ABC show.
    Red Widow: welcome to the ABC Cursed Time Slot… DOA.

  24. Leondre says:

    ABC forgot about A LOT of shows.

    • eridapo says:

      And that is why their ratings are so low…. Seriously when I watch the Superbowl every single CBS show got a promo. CBS’ marketing teams runs circles around the ABC team… If you were to judge ABC by the promos, no self-respecting straight guy should tune into the network. Scandal, Once, and Red Widow. A bit of MF, the Middle, Revenge, and a less than one second Castle flash…

  25. Hope says:

    Scandal by a mile!

  26. FeFe says:

    I agree with the tag line about SCANDAL; not a good choice. There are enough promos about scandal that tell you what the show is about that I think people will get an idea. ABC has 30 sec or less to hook you so a half naked Kerry Washington was their way of a hook. I think it’s genius! Once someone turns on the show they’ll see what it’s about!

  27. John says:

    once was epic

  28. Steph says:

    wow that Castle promo was….oh wait, there wasn’t one. Not cool ABC, not cool.

  29. Scandal sooo sexy and Nashville sooo beautiful <3

  30. kevin says:

    Nashville! Love the show.

  31. Daniel T says:

    I have to say Nashville’s promo was beyond amazing

  32. luli says:

    So Revenge and Castle didn’t get an oscar promo? Shame on ABC

  33. Kate says:

    Disappointed there wasn’t a Castle promo of any kind. This show sure does have to fend for itself since ABC doesn’t exactly excel at doing it…

  34. Jess says:

    Scandal promo was to much it was like the was selling underwear or something like that, loved Nashville promo more

  35. Alicia L. says:

    I actually was mosted annoyed that they completely ignored Grey’s which is one of the longest running shows on ABC.

    • Julie says:

      Yeah but that’s why it wasn’t shown- it’s a long running show that already has a built in fan base. They were obviously showing shows that were new or on for 2 years or less.

    • Nero theTVFiddler says:

      Good catch – I noticed the lack of Grey’s as well. I laughed each time I saw a Scandal promo and no Greys anywhere in sight. What does that tell us? As Julie noted, Greys is the veteran show now on the ABC roster – they don’t “need” a promo, although I bet Shonda and the cast would have been happy and grateful to have one. ABC must push their young, hot shows, and that’s Scandal at this point in time.
      I’m going to stick to my hunch that Scandal will move into that 9pm slot on Thursday this fall. ABC is pushing that show hard – 9pm Thursday is the end goal of all this effort. ABC also pushed Nashville hard last night – this is showtime for them – after this Oscar night push, if Nashville ratings don’t improve by April, it may be over in May.
      No Happy Endings promo! That just seems so strange and so wrong for a show that ABC has dumped around every night of the week this season. Oh well, there’s always Saturday. ;)

  36. Helen says:

    Scandal promo was gorgeous and I liked how it was a nod to the James Bond theme of the Oscars. I love the political machinations of the the show and it was the forbidden affair between Olivia, the campaign fixer and the President that drew me in from the first episode. I think it makes sense to highlight that affair which is one of the central themes of this operatic, political thriller. Forbidden love is always a good sell.

  37. omabin says:

    Was there any revenge promo at all? I have seen people mentioning “little revenge”.

  38. Mary says:

    For me, Scandal´s promo was awful! If I had not watched it before, I would think it was about sex and not much more, wich isn´t the case…

  39. Elyse says:

    definitely the Once promo!!!

  40. Lena says:

    Scandal is nothing but a trashy soap.

    • theOtherMonique says:

      …according to that promo, I would definitely think so, but actually KNOWING (having watched) the show, one would never be able to utter those words without have next to no ability to understand writing or storytelling. I’m guessing you haven’t really watched or you watched one or two episode 2 seasons in…

    • Lena says:

      I respectfully disagree. I am well aware of “good” writing and I still think Scandal is a trashy soap. ABC sells it with sex. Period. You are entitled to your opinion. I’m entitled to mine.

      • Xtina says:

        Exactly and I doubt sex sells will sustain Scandal in the long run. It would make it Grey’s Anatomy or Private Practice in a different setting and many viewers don’t like trashy nighttime soaps.

      • theOtherMonique says:

        Can you give examples of good writing and non-trashy soaps, or are all soaps considered trashy… just more info. I honestly don’t understand the “trashy” in this instance, Lena. To me, Girls is trashy. They aspire to be trashy, the writer intentionally carries herself as such, but this, I’m trying to understand your frame of reference…not to mention whether or not you have watched the show in its entirety. Hopefully, your not a waithe, ’cause … mercy…

        • theOtherMonique says:

          …actually never mind. You find it trashy, your opinion – its fans might experience it more as melodramatic, not unlike a La Tosca. I’ve said it before, it is more like an opera than a soap given it timbre and style, but yes, you are entitled to … your opinion, based on… still don’t know if you have actually watch more than one or 2 episodes, but whatevs… one episode… twenty-three… who’s to judge…

  41. OMG the NASHVILLE commercial was beautiful *faint*

  42. EMW says:

    I am sorry I am a DIEHARD SCANDAL FAN and I loved it. For current fans of the show, that promo meant a lot, for future fans of the show, sadly, we live in a world where sex sells (especially in the 18-49 age range) and I am sure plenty of people will tune in to see what it is about based on that promo alone, and it only takes one episode, the right episode (which is all of them) to get you hooked. The SCANDAL addiction is real. :)

  43. cas says:

    Well at least we know what shows ABC cares about. I hope they don’t wonder why their ratings fall. At least CBS promotes all their shows.

  44. chris says:

    I liked the Scandal promo, the tie in with the Bond theme was very clever. Who knows, if the right people are watching, Kerry could be the next Bond girl.

    Scandal has had a lot of promos with Liv walking and solving problems. 30 seconds during the Oscars, you have to try something eye catching.

  45. Tedi says:

    I LOVED the Scandal promo! It didn’t necessarily go in depth into the show’s plot line but let’s all be serious, we went for Olivia the ‘fixer’ but stayed for the heat/chemistry between Fitz and Olivia….that’s the heart of the show.

  46. Jess says:

    Scandal sells there show whit sex???? not a god promo :( very disappointed i like Scandal

  47. Frank says:

    That spot made me buy a Nashville season pass….

  48. I can see why some are disappointed with the Scandal promo. I thought it was HOTTTT (catch the reference), but wanted more, similar to the one-minute promo that aired during the AMAs. Still, great promo and my fav of the abc series promos.

    That said, for all those mad about the sex–don’t get it twisted. I’d bet money that the Olitz part of the show (and social media hyping it up) is a huge part of Scandal a) getting a back 9 and b) the ratings increases. Don’t get me wrong, the “Who Shot Fitz” SL was huge, but Olitz is the core of the show. ABC knows this (most of their promos for new eps heavily feature Olitz–for some episodes, the promos are ONLY Olitz, even if other folks are in it). ABC knows where the Scandal bread and butter lay and it’s with that pairing (for better or worse–good for me, may suck for you).

    OUAT had a pretty good promo too.

  49. Corinne says:

    Absolutely loved the Nashville promo – beautiful spot for the show & highlighted a lot of great moments so far. OUAT’s promo was great to, such a great cast & stories each week. – & I love Scandal & the promo was alright but there is so much more to the show then Fitz & Olivias relationship, wish they would have done more with it. My Fav out of all of them – Nashville!