Scandal‘s Season 6 premiere date may have been pushed back to 2017, but an ABC boss has promised the show’s new season will be a “return to form.” ABC President Channing Dungey was addressing concerns that Scandal started flagging in its fifth season by saying that he’s confident the show will return to its former self in the upcoming Season 6. In fact, if anybody should know about that, it’s Channing Dungey, who already has access to the early scripts for Scandal Season 6.
According to Entertainment Weekly, the fifth season of Scandal averaged at around 10.68 million viewers, considerably less than its peak of 12.66 million in Season 4. However, Dungey was quick to defend the political drama’s performance in its most recent season, saying “It was the fifth season this year. Long-running shows, there’s always a little bit of ebb and flow.”
— Natalie Abrams (@NatalieAbrams) August 4, 2016
He went on to address fans’ concerns about the upcoming season, saying “We have read the first script for the new season and it’s fantastic. It feels very much like a return to form.”
In his comments, Dungey appears to acknowledge that Scandal did begin to lose some of the quality that it’s known for in its fifth season, however, he still remains confident of the series’ longevity, further confirming ABC has not yet entered talks about a possible end date for Scandal.
That being said, when Scandal does finish, ABC will still have a number of Shonda Rhimes’ other series in their schedule. Grey’s Anatomy shows no sign of slowing down, whilst recently launched series including The Catch and How to Get Away with Murder have been confirmed to be returning to the network for further seasons. In fact, Rhimes currently has four ongoing series on ABC’s schedule, meaning the network could likely push the writer towards dropping one series in favor of the other three.
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Scandal’s Season 6 premiere date has been pushed back to Spring 2017, as previously mentioned. ABC cited a number of reasons behind the decision to push the release of Scandal Season 6 back, including Kerry Washington’s pregnancy. However, according to Zap2It, there’s growing speculation that the current election cycle also offered a reason for the network to delay the upcoming season, largely because of similarities being drawn between Scandal‘s fictional presidential election and the actual 2016 race.
That being said, past its sixth season, the longevity of Scandal is in doubt. As ABC President Channing Dungey commented, when they get to a certain age, political dramas can often find themselves flagging. This was a problem faced by The Good Wife, which came to an end earlier this year following a notably disappointing final season.
— TheWrap (@TheWrap) August 5, 2016
ABC has, at current, renewed each of Shonda Rhimes’ ongoing TV dramas under her ShondaLand umbrella. As previously mentioned, Scandal isn’t set to return until midseason 2017, although Grey’s Anatomy will return to the network on September 22. How to Get Away with Murder Season 3 will begin airing on the same day, with The Catch Season 2’s release date yet to be announced. Either way, fans of Shonda Rhimes will have plenty of great television to watch throughout the remainder of 2016 and 2017.
Scandal will return to ABC in 2017 and will announce the results of its fictional presidential election, not long following the inauguration of the actual new president.
[Image via ABC]