Scandal is an American political thriller television series starring Kerry Washington. Created by Shonda Rhimes, it debuted on ABC on April 5, 2012.[1] Kerry Washington's character, Olivia Pope, is partially based on former George H.W. Bush administration press aide Judy Smith, who serves as a co-executive producer.[2]

The show takes place in Washington, D.C. and focuses on Olivia Pope's crisis management firm, Olivia Pope & Associates, and its staff, as well as staff at the White House, which includes President Fitzgerald Grant III, First Lady Mellie Grant, Chief of Staff Cyrus Beene, Press Secretary Abigail Whelan, Attorney General David Rosen, and the Vice President's Chief of Staff Elizabeth North.

In addition to Kerry Washington, the show features Guillermo Diaz and Katie Lowes as assistants at O.P.A., Tony Goldwyn as the President, Bellamy Young as the ex-First Lady and senator, Jeff Perry as the White House Chief of Staff, Darby Stanchfield as the Press Secretary, Joshua Malina as the Attorney General, Scott Foley as the Director of the NSA, Portia de Rossi as the Vice President's Chief of Staff, Cornelius Smith Jr. as a civil rights activist and associate at O.P.A. and Joe Morton as Olivia's father and the head of a spy agency.

Washington 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.

The show 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.


Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) is a former White House Communications Director for the President of the United States who has left to run her own crisis management firm, Olivia Pope & Associates, dedicating her life to protecting the public images of the nation's elite, but struggles with leaving her past relationship with the President, Fitzgerald Grant III (Tony Goldwyn) behind, which leads to a complicated relationship with the First Lady, Mellie Grant (Bellamy Young). Further complication ensues when former Navy Seal and coworker to the president Jake Ballard (Scott Foley) begins a relationship with Olivia. Olivia and her team of "gladiators", including former CIA operative Huck Finn (Guillermo Diaz), professional hacker Quinn Perkins (Katie Lowes), identity politics expert Marcus Walker (Cornelius Smith Jr.), Press Liaison to the White House, Abby Whelan (Darby Stanchfield), Attorney General of the United States, David Rosen (Josh Malina), and White House Chief of Staff, Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry), all work to ensure President Grant remains in power, and give the Grant Administration an admirable legacy against the attacks of a vindictive and ambitious Mellie Grant and the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, Elizabeth North (Portia de Rossi). Former OPA workers include former Wall Street banker Harrison Wright (Columbus Short) and Russian oligarchy operative Steven Finch (Henry Ian Cusick).

Series overview

Season 1: 2010

Season 1 introduced Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) and the various members of her firm, as well as President of the United States Fitzgerald Grant III (Tony Goldwyn) and his chief of staff Cyrus Beene (Jeff Perry). Season 1 focused on the lives of the team members, the relationship between Olivia and the President (her former employer), and the mystery surrounding Amanda Tanner's (Liza Weil) involvement with the White House, among other cases the team solved.

Season 2: 2012–2013

Several casting changes occurred: Henry Ian Cusick as Stephen Finch exited and both Bellamy Young, as Mellie Grant, and Joshua Malina, as David Rosen, were bumped up to series regulars. Season 2 began airing in September in the same time slot. Season 2 focused on the stress of the upcoming re-election of current President, Fitzgerald Grant, and the fallout of dealing with the guilt that he did not truly earn his first term in office. This was in addition to cases that Olivia Pope and members of her firm took on.

Season 3: 2013–2014

The show was renewed for a third season on May 10, 2013.[3] It was announced that Scott Foley, who played the role of Jake, one of Olivia Pope's love interests, would return as a regular character. Friends star Lisa Kudrow was signed[4] to portray Montana Congresswoman Josephine Marcus in a multi-episode arc[5] and Private Practice actor Paul Adelstein, and Army Wives star Sally Pressman will recur for the third season.[6][7]

ABC pursued a split-season schedule for several of their dramas for 2013-14, meaning Scandal premiered its third season on October 3, with a winter hiatus through the holidays and January 2014, along with the 2014 Winter Olympics, returning with a 'spring' premiere February 27.[8] The third season was shortened by four episodes to an 18-episode run ending in mid-April in order to accommodate Kerry Washington's pregnancy, which was not incorporated into the show.[9]

Season 4: 2014–2015

On May 8, 2014, ABC renewed the show for a fourth season.[10] Columbus Short did not return for the fourth season due to personal issues outside the series.[11] In July 2014, it was announced that Portia de Rossi had been cast for what has been described as a "top secret" multiple episode guest arc.[12]

Season 5: 2015–2016

On May 7, 2015, ABC renewed Scandal for a fifth season.[13] The show will stay in the 9:00 p.m. time slot. All of the series regulars will return.[14] After the season finale, it was announced that Portia de Rossi has been promoted to a series regular for season five.[15] It was later announced that Cornelius Smith Jr., who had a guest role in season four, would return as a series regular for the fifth season.[16] The writers began working on the fifth season on May 21, 2015 and it premiered on September 24, 2015.[17]

Season 6

On March 3, 2016, ABC renewed Scandal for a sixth season.[18]

Cast and characters

Main cast

Actor Character Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6
Kerry Washington Olivia Pope
Henry Ian Cusick Stephen Finch Guest
Columbus Short Harrison Wright
Darby Stanchfield Abigal "Abby" Whelan TBA
Katie Lowes Quinn Perkins TBA
Guillermo Diaz Diego "Huck" Muñoz TBA
Jeff Perry Cyrus Beene TBA
Tony Goldwyn Fitzgerald "Fitz" Thomas Grant III
Bellamy Young Mellie Grant Recurring
Joshua Malina David Rosen Recurring TBA
Scott Foley Jacob "Jake" Ballard Recurring TBA
Joe Morton Eli Pope Recurring TBA
Portia de Rossi Elizabeth North Recurring TBA
Cornelius Smith Jr. Marcus Walker Guest TBA
  • Kerry Washington as Olivia "Liv" Carolyn Pope, a former White House Director of Communications who is widely regarded as the best "fixer" in Washington. Olivia worked on the presidential campaign of then-Governor Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III, with whom she began an affair. After Fitz became President, and named Olivia Director of Communications, they continue the affair. Although she still had feelings for him, Olivia knew that it would be best to resign from her position and as a result she started "Pope & Associates", a crisis management company. Throughout Season 1 Olivia demonstrates that she is very dedicated to her work and to the people she helps and that she's surrounded by staff who are very loyal to her due to her saving each of them a problem in their past. At the beginning of Season 2, it is revealed that Olivia had something to do with Quinn Perkins's past and that she made a call that eventually got Quinn's case thrown out of court, saving her from the death penalty. Olivia is shown to have a contentious relationship with Mellie, the First Lady; the two women cannot stand each other, but tolerate each other for the sake of the presidency. Olivia's father, Eli Pope, was the leader of a secret government organization titled B613.
  • Darby Stanchfield as Abigail "Abby" Whelan, who worked as an investigator in Olivia's firm and currently serves as the White House Press Secretary. Abby was married to Charles Putney, the youngest son of former Virginia governor James Putney. She left him when he beat her in a drunken rage. Olivia got a tire iron and broke Charles's kneecap. She also helped Abby get the best divorce attorney in the state to help her get out of her marriage. Abby is extremely loyal to Olivia because she helped her get her life back together, but she gets angry with her when she doesn't act like the Olivia who helps people. In the season 2 premiere, she helps Olivia with Quinn's case, even though she believes that she is guilty. Abby was sleeping with AUSA David Rosen after she found his wall with pictures of Quinn and Olivia all over it when she broke into his house. However, after Olivia found out about their relationship, she asked Harrison to end it. Harrison bribed Rosen's ex-girlfriend to say he beat her up to force Abby to break up with him.
  • Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins/Lindsay Dwyer, revealed in the season 2 premiere to be Lindsay Dwyer, on trial for murdering her ex-boyfriend and six other people. She had called her boyfriend, threatening him after she found out that he cheated on her. A mysterious package, which turns out to be a bomb, shows up at his workplace, killing him and six other people. It is revealed that Quinn ran away to a hotel room, frightened by what happened and that someone broke in and injected her with a sedative; she woke up in Washington, D.C. with a new identity. She is acquitted of all charges after Olivia makes a phone call. Olivia and Huck have something to do with her past, because Huck is shown in front of Quinn's hotel, then getting into Olivia's car and driving away. Quinn is extremely caring and has a brotherly relationship with Harrison Wright. She was dating reporter Gideon Wallace who was murdered by Billy Chambers. In Season 2, Quinn accepts Huck as her espionage and technology mentor, ultimately leading her down the path of embracing her dark side.
  • Guillermo Diaz as Huck/Diego Muñoz, works as a tech guy in Olivia's firm. He is extremely loyal to her, willing to do anything she asks of him. Olivia found the homeless Huck while she was working on the Grant campaign. She took a shine to him and brought him coffee every day. Prior to knowing Olivia, and after serving in the Marines, Huck was blackmailed into joining a top secret CIA subdivision called B613, where he was trained to torture and murder American "traitors". He discovered he actually took pleasure in hurting people, but was conflicted and tried to avoid the torturing. Olivia, knowing his history, asked him to use what he knew, but only in desperate situations. When she asked him to find Amanda Tanner's body, to return to her father, Huck tortured the man who originally trained him, until he revealed the whereabouts of the body. In the Season 2 premiere, it is revealed that it was Huck and Olivia who left the new identity for Quinn. Huck is known to attend Alcoholics Anonymous meetings; though he is not an alcoholic, he discusses "drinking whiskey" as a euphemism for his past as a torturer. In Season 2, Huck tutored Quinn in espionage and technology, but much to his chagrin he awakened something dark within her.
  • Jeff Perry as Cyrus Rutherford Beene, White House Chief of Staff.[19] He is a quiet man but is extremely ambitious, calculating, and extremely loyal to the president, even willing to kill to protect him. He was Olivia Pope's mentor and is her good friend. Cyrus was Fitz's campaign manager during his gubernatorial campaigns and his first presidential run, and brought Olivia on after they lost Iowa in the presidential primaries. He is shocked when he learns about the affair between Olivia and Fitz. He is extremely upset when he learns about Amanda Tanner and that Olivia is representing her and he goes as far as to convince the president to allow him to "wage war" with Olivia. It is revealed that he contracted Charlie (the B613 agent) as a freelance assassin to kill Amanda Tanner so she would not publicly come forward with her pregnancy. When Cyrus tells Olivia that the president is giving up the White House for her, he tells her some men can't be normal, changing her mind and helping her get Fitz and Mellie back together. Cyrus is gay and married to James Novak, a political journalist. Cyrus and Olivia are on good terms toward the end of Season 1, working together to save Fitz's presidency, although Olivia makes it clear that she knows what Cyrus is capable of when the president "lets him off his leash". Throughout Season 2, Cyrus is struggling with keeping Defiance (a vote manipulation scheme which bent the presidential election towards Fitz based on tampering of the voting machines in Defiance County, Ohio) from coming to light, helping Fitz with his decision-making and keeping his husband James from finding out the truth. He even adopts a baby girl for James, knowing that it is what he wants for their relationship. When Cyrus believes Hollis was responsible for Fitz's attempted assassination, he hires his own assassin to "end the problem", showing that he is willing to go to great lengths to protect everything Defiance worked for. He even goes as far as to nearly kill James for being David's witness to their conspiracy, but calls it off at the last minute. Ten months after Verna's funeral, he is shut out by Fitz for his involvement in the rigging, no longer able to give advice or influence the president's decisions. Eventually he begins to regain the President's trust, and by the early-middle part of season 3 the president has stopped shutting him out, and they are more or less back on decent terms with each other, but he is no longer trusted by the President unconditionally, and all of his advice is scrutinized closely.
  • Tony Goldwyn as Fitzgerald Thomas Grant III (Fitz), the President of the United States, a Republican former Governor of California from Santa Barbara. A Rhodes Scholar, Harvard law graduate, and decorated former US Navy fighter pilot. Fitz was attached to a carrier-based attack fighter squadron flying air support missions in tandem with US Navy special operations during the Gulf War in 1991, which is how he met Jake Ballard, the only man whom President Grant always unconditionally trusts. He is in love with Olivia Pope and wants to divorce his wife to be with her. While Fitz does care for his wife Mellie, he is not in love with her, and has remained in his marriage at the urging of his chief of staff Cyrus Beene to maintain his approval ratings and to help his chances for a second term. He started his affair with Olivia on the campaign trail and has been seeing her ever since, even though their relationship is hard to manage. He sleeps with Amanda Tanner when he becomes upset that Olivia won't see him. He started to lie about it to Olivia at first, but then revealed the truth. They are caught together by Cyrus, who tells Fitz that Amanda Tanner is blackmailing him and Olivia Pope is now representing her. When Olivia won't talk to him, he goes to her house and they sit together on the couch holding each other. When the news breaks about what Billy did, Fitz is happy because he views this as a chance to get out of his marriage and be a normal man with the woman he loves, but Olivia stops this and helps him get back with his wife, upsetting and confusing him. While Olivia has tried moving on and tried keeping a professional relationship, Fitz constantly tries to force affections with her and even sneaked away to be at her house. In season 2, he is troubled by whether to invade East Sudan and by his wife Mellie's pregnancy. Fitz and Olivia are at a standstill in their relationship because she wants to move on, to do the right thing and he won't let her because he loves her. When Olivia stops taking his calls, he does not handle it well and Cyrus tells him that he is "ticking". Fitz finally tells Olivia that he is ending their relationship when he invites her to a restaurant, saying that he is not being responsible to Mellie, Olivia and America and that he needs to be a better man. After being nearly assassinated on his birthday, Fitz was left in a coma for a short period of time before returning to office. The near-death experience left him a changed man, with some minor brain damage which causes him to lose his fear of doing what he wants for himself. He demanded a divorce from Mellie to be with Olivia, not caring if he loses his position as president and is loathed by the American people. This changed when Verna reveals everything about Defiance and her part in his assassination attempt, all to preserve her legacy. He kills her to preserve his own legacy and shut out everyone involved with Defiance. Ten months later, Fitz has developed a drinking problem and has become more forceful and rash in his decisions, believing that he does not have anyone he can trust, except for Jake Ballard, whom he increasingly turns to more and more for advice and help handling very sensitive and problem-fraught situations for him.
  • Colombus Short as Harrison Wright, (regular, season 1–3) a litigator who works with Olivia. He is bright and loyal to her. He worked in Takoma Park before he started working for Adnan Salif, making himself wealthy. When Salif went down for insider trading, Harrison received only a sentence of six months in jail because Olivia defended him pro bono. Harrison has a brotherly relationship with Quinn and he looks out for her. He calls Olivia's team "gladiators in suits". In the season 2 premiere, he is working on Quinn's case and although he knows it will be hard to win, he believes in her innocence. He is shocked when the judge rules in their favor and the case is dismissed. He becomes closer to Quinn and the two become good friends, having drinks together in the office.[20] He was murdered by B613 in the Season 3 finale after working out that it was responsible for the murder of President Grant's son, Jerry, to ensure his re-election and the reactivation of B613.
  • Henry Ian Cusick as Stephen Finch, (regular, season 1; guest, season 4) a litigator who worked with Olivia and is one of her good friends. He is Scottish-born and became a U.S. citizen in 1995 shortly after graduating first in his class from Yale Law School. He was a top litigator for a firm called Chase and Howard, but suffered a nervous breakdown in the middle of defending a client in a class action lawsuit against Bromquest, a chemical manufacturer that poisoned children in West Virginia. He spent two months recovering in a facility in Florida before quitting the firm and then began working with Olivia. He is shown to be a womanizer, even though he gets engaged to his girlfriend, Georgia, in the first season. By the second season he left the firm and moved to Boston, "married Georgia and is living a normal life". In the fourth season, he is revealed to be living in St. Petersburg and working for the Russian oligarchy.
  • Joshua Malina as David Rosen, (recurring, season 1; regular, season 2–) Through season 1–2, he is an Assistant U.S. Attorney; early in season 3 he becomes the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, and finally, early in season 4, United States Attorney General for the Grant administration. He is a stickler for the law, believing that it is his job to uphold it. He often says that he wears "the white hat". He and Olivia have a friendly rivalry going on when she gets involved in the cases he prosecutes. He is a good guy, willing to help Olivia — within the law. In the last episode of the first series, he discovers Quinn's true identity and in the season 2 premiere, he is prosecuting Quinn, even recommending the death penalty. When the judge rules in favor of the defense, David is shocked, because he has a solid case against her. When he spots Olivia and asks what she did, she just smiles and walks away. David was sleeping with Abby Whelan to gain more information on the case he lost against Olivia, though he was actually starting to like her. This ended when Abby left him after she believed that he beat up his last girlfriend. When David finally gathered enough information, he realized that the bombing in Cytron was a cover for the fact that the presidential campaign was rigged. He decided to dig deeper into the conspiracy that was covering this up, even using Cyrus Beene's husband James Novak to help him gather evidence and be his witness in court. However, when James is brought to the witness stand and lies about finding anything, David loses his chance to go forward with his prosecution. Ten months later, David loses his position as Assistant U.S. Attorney and is reduced to teaching an intro course at a D.C. school. He hates Olivia and her team for ruining his life, but turns to them for help when he is framed for murder. He then steals the card proving the election was rigged and gives it to Billy Chambers. However, it is then revealed that the card he gave Billy was fake and that David was just pretending to help him. He proves that Billy is the mole and gets him arrested. President Grant then makes him United States Attorney for the District of Columbia. As a parting gift, David sends Olivia a pure white stetson, reminding her that she must continue wearing the metaphorical and now the literal white hat. He feels haunted while in the presence of Jake Ballard, after the latter shoots three people right in front of his eyes, but allows Rosen to walk away, after agreeing to follow any of the directives Ballard decides to give him going forward.
  • Bellamy Young as First Lady/Senator Melody "Mellie" Grant (recurring, season 1; regular, season 2–)[21] Graduate of Yale (undergrad) and Harvard Law, both top of her class. Comes from a wealthy, patrician family with Southern roots. She is a strong but cold and calculating woman, willing to do anything to stay in the White House. Mellie does love her husband; she was a lawyer and gave up her career to support him. Olivia is shocked to learn that Mellie not only knew about Fitz's affair with her, but said nothing about it. She blames Olivia for the Amanda Tanner situation (reasoning that if Olivia had "played her part" as Fitz's mistress, Tanner would never have gotten involved at all). At the end of Season 1, she is planning to leave her husband after he tells her that he doesn't care about the presidency anymore and just wants to live a normal life. Olivia stops Mellie and brings her back to Washington, D.C. to help Olivia save Fitz's presidency and his marriage. It is possible that Mellie resents Olivia's status, due to her having a career and Fitz's love. In Season 2, after Fitz survives an assassination attempt, they hate each other more than ever, with Fitz now insistent on getting a divorce and Mellie beginning to overstep the bounds of her position's authority. She now wants to be included in security meetings and is threatening Cyrus to get what she wants, but he's not buying it. After Fitz is nearly assassinated and demands a divorce from her, Mellie induces her pregnancy in a last-ditch effort to keep them together as well as maintain her position as First Lady. After Fitz finds out about Defiance and stays with Mellie, she tries to side with him and keep him from overworking, even putting all the blame on Cyrus for the rigging. When Fitz begins drinking, Mellie tells him that his children didn't want to spend time with him, due to his changing behavior and that she wasn't going to force them to visit if they didn't wish for it. She tells him he needed to get over Olivia's deception. In season 3, it is revealed that Mellie was raped by Fitz's father, "Big Jerry".
Scott Foley 1

Foley portrays the role of Jake Ballard

  • Scott Foley as Captain Jacob "Jake" Ballard, (recurring, season 2; regular, season 3–)[22] A U.S. Navy intelligence officer attached to the Joint Chiefs of Staff who spies on Olivia Pope at the personal request of President Grant, with whom he served in the Navy during the first Gulf War. As a result of their service and many missions together, Ballard is the only man whom President Grant unconditionally trusts. Ballard's outstanding physical condition and highly advanced level of combat/tactical training suggests that he has a special forces background; which would give some insight into how he and the President know each other. Fitz was attached to a carrier-based attack fighter squadron flying air support missions in tandem with U.S. Navy special operations, where he naturally came into contact with many operators from the Navy SEALs, of which Ballard was presumably one. He was also a member of the elite CIA black ops division called B613, with Rowan Pope, the program's director tasking him to wedge himself between the President and Olivia, until he defied orders, resulting in his dismissal and imprisonment until being freed after Olivia convinced her father to do so. At the end of Season 3, he replaces Rowan Pope as "Command", the director of B613. As Command, he decides to assassinate 3 of the 4 members of the group investigating the suspicious death of Daniel Douglas, Vice President Sally Langston's husband: NSA staffer Shelby Moss, White House correspondent Vanessa Chandler, and White House Press Secretary James Novak. Moss and Chandler's bodies were buried in a forested unmarked grave; Novak's was left on the street and staged to look like the result of a carjacking. Eventually, Olivia discovers that B613 was behind the deaths and confronts him, hysterically screaming, "you told me you'd be different [as Command]...but immediately you became my father!!). Ballard insists that he is different, because when the dirtiest parts of his job become necessary, he does them himself, instead of delegating it to one of his many, highly capable subordinates to do so. At the end of Season 3, Rowan is brought in by the President to assist with finding his ex-wife's terrorist handler and they chafe against each other's authority. Jake doesn't get fired, but through a twisted turn of events Rowan eventually gets reinstated as Command and Jake flies off with Olivia to a remote island off the West African coast for 4 months ("going to the sun").
Portia de Rossi

de Rossi portrays the role of Elizabeth North

  • Portia de Rossi as Elizabeth "Lizzie" North, (recurring, season 4; regular, season 5) The chairwoman of the Republican National Committee and a political advisor to the First Lady during her senate campaign; she became the Chief of Staff when Cyrus Beene was fired by the president.
  • Cornelius Smith Jr. as Marcus Walker, (guest, season 4; regular, season 5) A civil rights activist and a former client of Olivia's firm.
  • Joe Morton as Elijah "Eli/Rowan" Pope, (recurring, season 2-4; regular, season 5) Olivia Pope's father, 'Command' of the elite black ops program, B613.

Recurring cast

Actor Character Seasons
1 2 3 4 5 6
Kate Burton Sally Langston Recurring
George Newbern Charlie Recurring
Brian Letscher Tom Larsen Recurring
Dan Bucatinsky James Novack Recurring Guest
Matt Letscher Billy Chambers Recurring
Brenda Song Alissa Recurring
Liza Weil Amanda Tanner Recurring
Brendan Hines Gideon Wallace Recurring
Norm Lewis Edison Davis Recurring Guest Recurring
Gregg Henry Hollis Doyle Recurring Guest Recurring
Debra Mooney Verna Thornton Recurring
Kurt Fuller Grayson Osborne Recurring
Jasika Nicole Kim Muñoz Guest Recurring Guest
Jaden Bettes Javi Muñoz Guest Recurring Guest
Paul Adelstein Leo Bergen Recurring Guest
Khandi Alexander Maya Pope Recurring
Jon Tenney Andrew Nichols Recurring
Mary Mouser Karen Grant Recurring Guest
Lisa Kudrow Josie Marcus Recurring
Dylan Minnette Jerry Grant IV Recurring
Jack Coleman Doug Langston Recurring
Nazanin Boniadi Adnan Salif Recurring
Artemis Pebdani Susan Ross Recurring
Matthew Del Negro Michael Ambruso Recurring
Brian White Franklin Russell Recurring Guest
Mía Maestro Elise Martin Recurring
Annabeth Gish Lillian Forrester Recurring
Ricardo Chavira Francisco Vargas Recurring
Danny Pino Alex Vargas Recurring
Season 1
  • Kate Burton as Sally Langston, (season 1-) the former Vice President of the United States, is significantly more conservative than Grant.[23] Langston was vying for the Republican nomination prior to the series, but eventually accepted Grant's offer to be his VP. Her self-righteousness and Bible-thumping irritate the moderate Republicans in the White House. She killed her unfaithful husband in a rage and had Cyrus help her cover it up. Despite this, she decided to run as an independent candidate to replace Grant but did not resign from being vice-president. During the third season finale, Sally was projected to win the election, but lost at the last minute due to the public's sympathy over the death of Fitz's son Jerry. She is currently the host of The Liberty Hour.
  • George Newbern as Charlie, (season 1-) a B613 assassin and rival of Huck who occasionally freelances for Cyrus. He helps recruit Quinn into B613 and develops a relationship with her, but leaves after discovering that she was cheating on him with Huck.
  • Brian Letscher as Tom Larsen, (season 1-) a Secret Service agent for President Grant, also secretly a B613 agent responsible for the death of Fitz's son Jerry.
  • Dan Bucatinsky as James Novak, (season 1-4) the husband of Cyrus Beene and father to Ella Novak-Beene. A former Pulitzer Prize nominated print journalist in addition to also being a former television interviewer.
  • Matt Letscher as Billy Chambers, (season 1-2) former Chief of Staff to the Vice President and campaign manager of Langston for President.
  • Brenda Song as Alissa, (season 1-2) David Rosen's assistant.
  • Liza Weil as Amanda Tanner, a former White House intern who claimed she had an affair with the President of the United States. It was eventually revealed that she was pregnant.
  • Brendan Hines as Gideon Wallace, a reporter for the tabloid newspaper The D.C. Sun, who seeks to expose the details of the Amanda Tanner story.
Season 2
  • Norm Lewis as Senator Edison Davis, (season 2-3, 5) a former boyfriend of Olivia Pope who once asked her to marry him before ending their relationship when she declined. He is a Democrat and serves as a US Senator from Florida and eventually the Senate Majority Leader.
  • Gregg Henry as Hollis Doyle, (season 2-3, 5) the CEO of Doyle Industries, an oil company and major financial donor to the Grant presidential campaign. He was responsible for the Cytron bombing and was suspected to be behind the attempt on Grant's life. In season 2, Doyle turns to Olivia and her associates for help when his daughter goes missing.
  • Jaden Betts as Javi Muñoz, (season 2, 4-) Huck's son.
  • Jasika Nicole as Kim Muñoz, (season 2-) Huck's wife and mother of his son.
  • Debra Mooney as Justice Verna Thornton, an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court who was nominated for the bench by Fitzgerald Grant shortly after becoming President. She had prior served as a member of the 'Defiance' group and as a friend/advisor to both Fitzgerald Grant II and III.
  • Kurt Fuller as Grayden Osborne, Director of the CIA in the Grant Administration.
Season 3
  • Khandi Alexander as Maya Lewis, (season 3-) Olivia Pope's mother, a self-professed "facilitator" for terrorists, long thought killed in the shooting of Global World Flight 522 that took place when Olivia was twelve. Maya was held in a high-security prison by Rowan until she escaped and was helped by Olivia to leave the country. But she escaped from the plane after killing the pilot and other crew members and stayed in Washington. Alexander's portrayal of Lewis has been compared to Assata Shakur.
  • Paul Adelstein as Leo Bergen, (season 3-) a highly skilled, quick-witted political consultant who goes to work for Sally Langston after turning down Cyrus's offer to run Fitz's re-election campaign. After Langston narrowly loses the election to Grant, Leo remains in D.C. as a political consultant and fixer, consulting for various politicians and also as the boyfriend of Abby Whelan.
  • Jon Tenney as Andrew Nichols, (season 3-4) the former Lieutenant Governor of California who succeeded Fitzgerald Grant as Governor when Grant became President
  • Lisa Kudrow as Josephine "Josie" Marcus, a U.S. Congresswoman from Montana, war widow and Democratic candidate for President of the United States.
  • Jack Coleman as Daniel Douglas Langston, the husband of Sally Langston and Second Gentleman.
  • Dylan Minnette as First Son Jerry Grant, the son of Fitz and Mellie
  • Madeline Carroll/Mary Mouser as First Daughter Karen Grant, (season 3-4) the daughter of Fitz and Mellie.
  • Nazanin Boniadi as Adnan Salif, Harrison Wright's mysterious former associate when he was on Wall Street before he got arrested for insider trading. She hired Maya to plan and coordinate the terrorist attack on U.S. soil intended to kill President Grant.
Season 4
  • Matthew Del Negro as Michael Ambruso, (season 4-) Cyrus' husband, a prostitute hired to seduce him by Elizabeth North.
  • Artemis Pebdani as Susan Ross, (season 4-) a Senator from Virginia chosen to be the Vice President for Fitz's second term.
  • Brian White as Franklin Russell, (season 4-5) an undercover agent working for Rowan.
Season 5
  • Mia Maestro as Elise Martin, Jake's wife.
  • Annabeth Gish as Lillian Forrester, a reporter with an attraction to Fitz.
  • Ricardo Chavira as Francisco Vargas, the governor of Pennsylvania and Democratic candidate for president.
  • Danny Pino as Alex Vargas, Francisco's brother and a member of his campaign team.


Conception and development

In early 2011, it was announced that Shonda Rhimes was developing a new pilot. In February, Kerry Washington was cast in a leading role. Actress Gabrielle Union and Taraji P. Henson auditioned for this role alongside Washington before she was officially chosen. Henry Ian Cusick also landed a role in the series. On February 28, 2011, it was announced that Tony Goldwyn landed the role as the president.[24]

In May 2011, ABC picked up the pilot as a mid-season replacement. During the Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour, it was announced that the show would premiere April 5, 2012 after Grey's Anatomy, relocating Private Practice to Tuesday nights.[25]

The program was renewed for a second season on May 11, 2012, in the same Thursday timeslot, while Private Practice remained in the new Tuesday evening timeslot to finish its final season.[26] Rhimes had stated at the time that the second season would likely be thirteen episodes or less,[27][28] but the renewal of the series after the fall meant that the second season would have two arcs through the season; the first covering the main 13-episode order, with the second arc taking place during the "back nine" order.


Producers Writers Directors
Judy Smith, Jenna Bans, Mark, Fish, Tom Verica, Peter Nowalk, Allan Heinberg, Mark Driscoll, Noah Evslin, Chris Van Dusen, Holden Chang, Peter Noah, Roxann Dawson Jenna Bans, Matt Byrne, Severiano Canales, Mark Fish, Zahir McGhee, Heather Mitchell, Raamla Mohamed, Peter Noah, Miguel Nolla, Peter Nowalk, Shonda Rhimes, Richard Robbins, Chris Van Dusen, Mark Wilding Tom Verica, Oliver Bokelberg, Steve Robin, Allison Liddi-Brown, Russell Robertson, Mark Tinker, Jeannot Szwarc, Randall Zisk, Stephen Cragg, Michael Katleman, Ron Underwood, Roxann Dawson, Tony Goldwyn, Paul McGuigan, Bethany Rooney, Jessica Yu, Ava DuVernay, Julie Anne Robinson, Debbie Allen, Paul McCrane

Critical reception

The show has been met with generally favorable reviews, with a collective score of 64/100 based on 28 critics from Metacritic.[29] Based on advanced screeners sent before the show's premiere, Alan Sepinwall of Hit Fix stated:

To be perfectly honest, after watching four episodes of "Scandal", I'm not 100 percent clear on what it is that Olivia and her team (most of them fellow lawyers who don't practice law) do, nor on exactly what the show is. I'm also not entirely sure that it matters. "Scandal" is a good example of what a show is about being far less important than how it's about it.

IndieWire, a daily news site reviewed the first season of Scandal, comparing it to the FX show Damages. Stating that the premise was similar and that "Damages" is a hell of a show, and worthy of all the accolades; but it's what Scandal could be, if the envelope was pushed a bit more, and if the show took more risks."[30]

Newsday's Verne Gay called the series "fun", but added:

All the tropes, cliches and (especially) soap conventions series creator Shonda Rhimes has poured so generously into "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" over the years have been poured right back into this Beltway potboiler. The hairpin plot twists. The whiplash character reveals. The bumptious moralizing. The Strong Woman/Wronged Woman character type, and its direct corollary, Weak, Middle-Aged, Married Man Who Secretly Likes Hookers. It's all here!

The show however received many more positive reviews during its second season. AV Club's Ryan McGee compared to the show to House of Cards

But Scandal has quite a bit to say about how people in general operate. By extension, it also has a lot to say about the type of television people respond to in this ever-splintered viewing environment. In a year in which almost all ratings are down, Scandal has gone up. Its insane storytelling really isn’t insane at all. Many want to dub House Of Cards the future of television as a whole. In terms of distribution, this may be true. But by giving audiences what they want, and then giving them so much more than they ever expected, Scandal is the show those looking toward the future of television should be aiming to actually produce, regardless of the medium in which it is viewed.

Alan Sepinwall of HitFix also changed his stance:

When "Scandal" debuted last spring, I wasn't sure what to make of it, beyond recognizing that Kerry Washington had the goods to carry a series and Shonda Rhimes had fashioned an excellent role for her. This season, though, Rhimes has kicked the show up to another level by ditching the Crisis of the Week procedural format in favor of reinventing "Scandal" as a gonzo hybrid of conspiracy thriller and high-stakes soap opera, involving election rigging, a presidential assassination attempt, a failed internal White House coup, and all sorts of other crazy shenanigans. It's ludicrous on virtually every level; it's also an enormous amount of fun, thanks to the writing and the performances.


U.S. television ratings for Scandal
Season Timeslot (EST) Number of Episodes Premiere Finale TV Season Overall rank 18–49 rank Overall viewership Live + DVR viewers
Date Viewers
Date Viewers
10:00 pm
April 5, 2012 (2012-04-05)
May 17, 2012 (2012-05-17)
7.33[32] 2011–2012|12]] #62 #73 8.21 8.70
2 22
September 27, 2012
May 16, 2013
9.12[34] [[2012–13 #44 #33 8.46 10.07
3 18
October 3, 2013
April 17, 2014
10.57[36] 201314 #16 #8 9.11 11.99
9:00 pm
September 25, 2014
May 14, 2015
8.08[38] 201415 #18 #8 9.19 12.66
5 21
September 24, 2015
May 12, 2016
6 N/A
September 2016

In season 2, Scandal's ratings gradually increased and the show started winning its time slot on a regular basis. The show ranks as one of the highest rated dramas on television. On September 25, 2014, Scandal achieved a series-high 3.8, 18-49 rating, and 11.96 million viewers during its season four premiere on its new timeslot at 9:00PM on Thursdays, despite heavy competition from Thursday Night Football on CBS. Growing from its lead-in, Grey's Anatomy, and with its lead-out program, How to Get Away with Murder, retaining 100% of Scandal's 18-49 rating, all three shows gave ABC its best Thursday night in five years.

Social media

Scandal is one of the most popular shows on social media. The cast tweets with their fans when the show is airing on television.[40] During the season three premiere, the show topped Nielsen's Twitter TV Ratings Top 10,[41] with 713,000 tweets that mentioned the show and were seen by an audience of 3.7 million users. The show has also the most loyal Twitter followers according to Nielsen Social.[42]


Scandal has been acknowledged by the ALMA Awards, Image Awards, BET Awards, Emmy Awards, Screen Actors Guild Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Critics' Choice Awards, Teen Choice Awards and People's Choice Awards as well as honored by the American Film Institute and the Peabody Awards.

Kerry Washington, Columbus Short, Guillermo Díaz, Bellamy Young, and Tony Goldwyn have been recognized for their performances.

Critics' top ten lists

Awards and nominations

Year Association Category Nominee Result Ref.
2012 13th ALMA Awards Favorite TV Actor – Supporting Role in a Drama Guillermo Díaz Nominated [46]
2013 BET Awards Best Actress Kerry Washington Won [47]
Imagen Awards Best Actor/Television Guillermo Díaz Nominated [48]
44th NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Drama Series Won [49]
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Kerry Washington Won
Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series Shonda Rhimes
("Sweet Baby")
65th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Kerry Washington Nominated [50]
Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series Dan Bucatinsky Won
TV Guide Awards Favorite Drama Series Won
Favorite Actress Kerry Washington Won
Favorite Ensemble Kerry Washington, Columbus Short, Darby Stanchfield, Katie Lowes, Guillermo Diaz, Jeff Perry, Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young, Joshua Malina, Scott Foley Nominated
Vision Awards Best Drama Nominated
2014 BET Awards BET Award for Best Actor & Actress Kerry Washington Nominated [51]
4th Critics' Choice Television Awards Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Bellamy Young Won [52]
Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series Joe Morton Nominated
Dorian Awards TV Performance of the Year – Actress Kerry Washington Nominated [53]
71st Golden Globe Awards Best Actress in a Television Drama Series Kerry Washington Nominated [54]
Gracie Awards Outstanding Drama Won [55]
45th NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Drama Series Won [49]
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Kerry Washington Won
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Joe Morton Won
Columbus Short Nominated
Guillermo Diaz Nominated
66th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series Kerry Washington Nominated [56]
Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series Joe Morton Won
Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series Kate Burton Nominated
Prism Award Drama Series Episode – Substance Use
("Snake in the Garden")
Performance in a Drama Series Episode Tony Goldwyn Nominated
20th Screen Actors Guild Awards Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series Kerry Washington Nominated [57]
TV Guide Awards Favorite Drama Series Nominated
Favorite Actress Kerry Washington Nominated
Vision Awards Best Drama Won
2015 BET Awards Best Actress Kerry Washington Nominated [58]
46th NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Drama Series Nominated [59]
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Kerry Washington Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Guillermo Diaz Nominated
Joe Morton Won
Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series Khandi Alexander Won
Outstanding Writing in a Dramatic Series Zahir McGhee
("Mama Said Knock You Out")
OFTA Television Awards Best Actress in a Drama Series Kerry Washington Nominated [60]
Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series Khandi Alexander Nominated
41st People's Choice Awards Favorite Network TV Drama Nominated [61][62]
Favorite Dramatic TV Actress Kerry Washington Nominated
67th Primetime Emmy Awards Outstanding Guest Actress In A Drama Series Khandi Alexander Nominated [63]
Teen Choice Awards Choice TV Actress – Drama Kerry Washington Nominated [64]
2016 47th NAACP Image Awards Outstanding Drama Series Nominated [65]
Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series Kerry Washington Nominated
Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series Guillermo Diaz Nominated
Joe Morton Won
42nd People's Choice Awards Favorite Network TV Drama Nominated [66]
Favorite Dramatic TV Actress Kerry Washington Nominated
Favorite Dramatic TV Actor Scott Foley Nominated

The production team has been honored by the Costume Designers Guild, Society of Camera Operators, BMI Awards and the California on Location (COLA) Awards.

Recognition for Scandal
Year Result Award Category Recipients
2013 Won AFI Award Television Program of the Year Scandal
2014 Won Peabody Award Area of Excellence (Television) Scandal


In the United States Scandal airs on ABC on Thursday nights at 9pm/8pm CT. The program airs at the same time in Canada through the City television system with simsubbing of the ABC feed.

The series airs in Australia on the Seven Network (and in repeat on SoHo), Canal Sony in Latin America, ZFB-TV in Bermuda, Miami's WPLG in the Bahamas (via cable from the United States mainland), and on TVB Pearl in Hong Kong. The first two season originally aired on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom.[67] In 2014 the show was picked up by rival broadcaster Sky Living who will continue from season three onwards.[68] In New Zealand it first aired on TV One but now airs on TV2.

It airs in South Africa on multiple television channels; first run episodes are aired on DStv premium channel M-net which airs the latest episodes weeks after its US airing followed by episodes on rival satellite channel StarSat and Free TV channel; SABC3 since May 2014. On both M-net, and SABC3 the show is re-titled as The Fixer due to a locally originated soap named Scandal! already carrying the show's title on another television channel as to not confuse viewers across rival channels.[69]

Cable syndication

On July 15, 2013, BET and ABC announced an early syndication agreement, which saw BET carrying a marathon of the first two seasons on August 10 and 17, 2013, then in two-hour blocks on Wednesdays before the show's season three premiere on October 3.[70] BET airs new episodes after an eight-day delay.[71][72]

DVD releases and online availability

The series's DVD releases currently consist of the first, second seasons and third seasons, and were released by Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment under the ABC Studios label. Additionally, Netflix currently streams seasons one, two, three and four in the U.S and Canada., The fifth season is also streaming on Hulu with new episodes airing every Friday. The show is available via traditional by-episode purchase by most online video retailers, including iTunes.

Season 1

The Complete First Season
Set Details Special Features
  • 7 Episodes
  • 2-Disc Set
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround)
  • English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles
  • Scandal: Setting The Pace
  • Gladiators in Suits: Casting a Series
  • Scripting Scandal
Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2
June 12, 2012 October 7, 2013

Season 2

The Complete Second Season
Set Details Special Features
  • 22 Episodes
  • 5-Disc Set
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround)
  • English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles
  • A Closer Look
  • Hanging with Huck
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Outtakes/Bloopers
Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2
September 3, 2013 February 17, 2014

Season 3

The Complete Third Season
Set Details Special Features
  • 18 Episodes
  • 4-Disc Set
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround)
  • English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles
  • Extended Finale Episode
  • See the Locations at Set
  • Spotlight Cast Piece: Jeff Perry
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Bloopers
Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2
September 23, 2014 January 19, 2015

Season 4

The Complete Fourth Season
Set Details Special Features
  • 22 Episodes
  • 5-Disc Set
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround)
  • English SDH, Spanish and French subtitles
  • Extended Episodes
  • The Fixer – A Day With Kerry Washington
  • Outtakes
Release Dates
Region 1 Region 2
August 11, 2015 November 23, 2015


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  3. "'Scandal' Renewed: ABC Series Gets Green Light For Season 3".. The Huffington Post (10 May 2013).
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  5. "'Scandal' Welcomes Lisa Kudrow, But Has A 'Fan' Blog Scandal Of Its Own (VIDEO)", The Huffington Post (25 October 2013). 
  6. Michael Ausiello. "‘Scandal’ Season 2: Sally Pressman Joins Cast".. TVLine.
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  10. "ABC Renews S.H.I.E.L.D., Resurrection, Castle, Revenge, Goldbergs and 4 Other Series".. TV Line (8 May 2014).
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  19. "About the Show".. ABC.
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  22. 'Scandal': Scott Foley upped to series regular | Inside TV |
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  34. Thursday Final Ratings: ‘Hannibal’, ‘The Big Bang Theory’, ‘The Vampire Diaries’, ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ & ‘Office’ Retrospective Adjusted Up – Ratings | TVbytheNumbers
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  66. "2016 Nominees & Winners"..
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External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The article or pieces of the original article was at Scandal (TV series). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Disney Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.