Scandal is a rare show on a multitude of levels. It’s a prime time political thriller television series starring a black woman (Kerry Washington) and created by another black woman (Shonda Rhimes). The show aired on ABC from 2012 to 2018, amassing 124 episodes over those seven seasons.
The show takes place in Washington, D.C. and focuses on Olivia Pope and her crisis management firm, Olivia Pope & Associates and it’s dealings with the White House and surrounding political scene. Living up to it’s name, the scandals come fast and furious in the show including Pope’s rivalry with her own father and her affair with the President of the Untied States. This is a prime time soap opera after all.
With it’s superb acting and over the top and drama-filled story lines, the show was a cultural phenomenon in it’s prime. Scandal garnered high ratings maxing out at nearly 12 million viewers an episode at its height. It was also critically acclaimed and racked up the awards. It was named a Television Program of the Year by the American Film Institute. Received the Peabody Award for Excellence in Television. And was honored as Outstanding Drama Series at the Image Awards. Washington herself has won the Image Award for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series and has been nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series, and a SAG Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Drama Series. All still rare feats for a black actress.
Scandal put a black woman front-and-center in the American political power structure. It helped make Kerri Washington a Hollywood A-Lister. And it cemented Shonda Rhimes’ spot as one of, if not the most powerful producer in the entire biz. All of which solidifies Scandal’s position as a true #CultureClassic.
Kerry Washington’s character, Olivia Pope, is partially based on former George H.W. Bush administration press aide Judy Smith, who also served as a co-executive producer.
We hope you enjoyed our look back at the #CultureClassic Scandal TV show. Check out some of our other throwback TV/film articles:
Written by @TalentedMrFord