The Scandal ratings are handled. The hit ABC drama hit a series high with the Season 3 premiere on October 3, landing 10.5 million viewers and a 3.6 in the coveted 18-49 demographic.

For perspective, the Season 2 premiere (September 27, 2012) only brought in a 2.1 in the demo, spiking 71 percent year-over-year, according to an ABC press release. Its previous series high was a 3.2 during the penultimate Season 2 episode and finale in spring 2013, and last night’s premiere jumped 13 percent.

Even with a jam-packed Thursday night schedule, Scandal was the No. 2 TV show of the night, falling behind only The Big Bang Theory, which aired at an earlier time slot and is in its seventh season.

But wait, there’s more! Scandal also generated ABC’s best numbers for the Thursday 10 p.m. time slot since January 2010 in overall viewers and November 2010 in young adults and was the No. 1 social series of the night. With the highest number of tweets for any broadcast series this season with an astounding 712, 877 tweets (and counting), it was up 714 percent from last fall’s premiere (87,525 tweets).

This exciting news was only able to happen because of the unfortunate circumstances for the characters on Scandal. Who knows — if Fitz didn’t out Olivia as his mistress, maybe the ratings would have been cut in half. Oh, who are we kidding — no matter what Olivia & Co. do on Scandal, we’ll all be watching. And tweeting. And stress-eating popcorn.

Are you surprised by the Scandal ratings? Sound off below, then tune in for the next episode on Thursday, October 10 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.

Alyse Whitney is Assistant Editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter and Google+.