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What to Watch on Thursday: A ‘50 Shades’-type plot on ‘Scandal’

(L-R): Lena Dunham, Katie Lowes and Kerry Washington in ABC’s “Scandal.”
(L-R): Lena Dunham, Katie Lowes and Kerry Washington in ABC’s “Scandal.” ABC

Scandal (9 p.m., ABC) – In an episode with a “50 Shades”-type plot, Lena Dunham (“Girls”) plays a woman who wants to expose sex secrets that could be damaging to Washington aristocracy, so Olivia works to stop the threat. Meanwhile, Elizabeth fears that Mellie’s sister could be detrimental to their political aspirations.

Also on tonight . . . .

NCAA Tournament – Games begin today and air on CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV. UNC plays Harvard at 7:20 on TNT, and N.C. State plays LSU at 9:20 on TBS. For a full schedule of games, tip-off times and networks, check out CBSSports.com.

The Vampire Diaries (8 p.m., CW) – Damon and Elena embark on a plan to rescue Damon’s mother, who is trapped in a 1903 prison world.

American Crime (10 p.m., ABC) – Carter’s sister shows up to support him after his arrest, but can’t hide her disapproval of his lifestyle or his involvement with Aubrey. Meanwhile, Barb works with an activist group to get police to consider her son’s murder a hate crime.

Dig (10 p.m., USA) – Peter’s pursuit of Khalid dead ends, so he and Cohen follow clues found in Emma’s journal.