ABC’s hit political drama Scandal sparked speculation last year when its sixth season didn’t launch alongside Shonda Rhimes’ other shows, with many fans of the show fearing that it had been axed. However, the show had only faced production delays because of star Kerry Washington’s pregnancy and is set to return to screens this month. So what do we know so far about Scandal Season 6? Ahead of its return, we’ll be exploring what’s next for the characters of ABC’s hit political drama.
When does Scandal return for Season 6?
As aforementioned, Scandal has traditionally premiered during the late September/early October premiere window. However, ABC confirmed last year that Scandal Season 6 wouldn’t be releasing alongside its other fall shows and had instead been pushed back to early 2017, sparking speculation over the future of the show. According to Den of Geek, however, it quickly transpired that Scandal Season 6 had been delayed in order to accommodate the real-life pregnancy of Kerry Washington – who plays Olivia Pope.
— Shadow And Act (@shadowandact) November 4, 2016
ABC recently confirmed that Scandal will be rejoining Shonda Rhimes’ TGIT lineup on January 19, alongside Grey’s Anatomy and How to Get Away With Murder. However, that delay left producer Shonda Rhimes forced to rule out speculation that Season 6 will be Scandal’s last.
Whilst ABC doesn’t plan for Season 6 to be the last season of Scandal, according to TV Line, it will be considerably shorter than previous seasons. Since Season 2, Scandal has returned each year with a 22-episode run, however, that will be shortened to just 16 episodes in 2017, again due to Kerry Washington’s pregnancy. However, the good news for fans is that the 16-episode run will be completely uninterrupted, meaning that fans won’t have to deal with a midseason break that has typically plagued Scandal in the past.
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Which cast members are returning for Season 6?
Scandal has something of a history when it comes to cast members disappearing in between seasons. Henry Ian Cusick’s character, Stephen Finch left after just one season, whilst Columbus Short, who played Harrison Wright was forced to leave the show after three seasons following a real-life scandal, where he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor domestic violence.
As it stands, each of the cast members present in the show’s Season 5 finale are expected to make a return in Season 6. They include Kerry Washington as D.C fixer Olivia Pope and her team of associates comprised of Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins and Guillermo Diaz as Huck, alongside the staff of the Grant administration in the White House, including Tony Goldwyn as President Fitz Grant, his Chief of Staff Cyrus Beene played by Jeff Perry and First Lady turned presidential candidate Mellie Grant, played by Bellamy Young.
— VOICE OF TV (@voiceoftv) December 7, 2016
There’s also expected to be some new faces making an appearance in Scandal Season 6. Zoe Perry, who has previously played roles in Rhimes’ other dramas Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice and is also the daughter of Jeff Perry, has been cast in the new season of Scandal. However, details around her character are being closely guarded. Other new faces are also expected to pop up throughout Scandal Season 6, with producer Shona Rhimes preferring to reveal as little information as possible about the new season.
Scandal returns for its sixth season on January 16, when viewers will find out who won the presidential election following the fifth season. Whilst being considerably shorter than the show’s previous seasons, Scandal Season 6 promises the same explosive storytelling that the series is known for.
[Featured Image by Kevin Winter]