Shonda Rhimes can do cliffhangers like nobody’s business. She proves it again and again on Grey’s Anatomy, which has some of the highest-rated season finales and premieres for a drama series. (And who can forger the blockbuster two-parter in 2006, which started after the Super Bowl and carried over huge ratings to the series’ Thursday episode). Rhimes proved it again with the three-part winter finale of her newest series, Scandal, which involves the shooting of the show’s fictional president. Last week, Part 1 (2.2/6) popped 10% for a a season high. (In adults 18-34, it hit a series high). Then last night, Part 2 written by Rhimes (2.5/7) jumped another 14% to a series high. The episode posted all-time highs for the sophomore series across the board — total viewers (7.4 million, up 12%) and all key demos, including adults 18-34 and 25-54.

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Scandal‘s lead-in, Grey’s Anatomy (3.0/8) was even with its fast national last week, down a tenth from the final. Last Resort (1.2/4) was up two tenths from last week, but some or most of that was due to an ABC pre-emption for NFL football in the San Fransisco market from 8-9 PM.

CBS’ fast nationals may have been slightly inflated by an NFL pre-emption in Denver. The Big Bang Theory (5.3/16, 17.4 million) was down a tenth from last week in the demo but still dominated the competition as the No. 1 program of the night among adults 18-49 and total viewers. Its runner-up in 18-49 once again was Two And A Half Men (4.2/12, up 5%, 14.2 million). No. 2 for the night in total viewers was Person Of Interest (3.2/9, up 10%, 15 million). In the fast nationals, both Men and POI are posting season highs in 18-49 and total viewers, though that may not hold in the finals due to the football pre-emption. Elementary (2.3/6) was up 5%. CBS won the night in 18-49 and total viewers.

Fox’s The X Factor (2.4/7) was down 11% from last week. Glee (2.1/6) was down a tenth to match its series low (it was up +2% in total viewers to 5.5 million). NBC’s 30 Rock (1.1/3) dropped 15% from last week’s wedding episode to tie it’s series low. Up All Night (1.2/3) was flat with last week, The Office (2.1/6) was up 11%, Parks And Recreation (1.5/4) up 7% and Rock Center With Brian Williams (1.0/3) up 11%. On the CW, The Vampire Diaries (1.1/3) was down 21% from last week, and Beauty And The Beast (0.5/1) was down a tenth.