Kerry Washington’s pregnancy isn’t the reason Scandal will have a shortened sixth season this year as fans originally speculated. Others thought that it was due to the show’s low ratings in the past season.
But in an interview with Associated Press, Washington reveals that it is neither. Instead, Washington shares that the show-runner, Shonda Rhimes, has a clear vision for where she wants to take the next season. And to fulfill that, 18 episodes is all that’s needed, instead of the typical 22 episode season.
Washington said that Rhines “knows what the story is” for the upcoming season. “She knows about how many episodes she needs left to get there. And that was her decision.”
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise for fans who follow Rhimes. During a talk at 92Y in New York, Rhimes shared that she knows “exactly where it begins and where it ends” when talking about Scandal.
The same can’t be said for Rhime’s other show, Grey’s Anatomy, though.
“I used to know exactly where ‘Grey’s’ was going when I thought we were only going to do a season or two,” said Rhimes. Later, she added: “And now it has evolved into a different journey. I know where we’re going to end up at the end of each season. I’ve stopped trying to know where we’re going to end up in the end, because now it’s just a life. At this point, it’s 12 years. We’re inside Meredith’s life. I’m dying to know where her life ends up.”
In another interview, Rhimes shared that Scandal won’t be around for much longer.
“I think there’s only so much Scandal you can tell satisfactorily,” she said. “The Fitz-Liv thing can only be told so long and in such a way. It’s not a 10-season or 8-season show. I’ve already decided how long that is and what that’s going to be.”
Considering that Scandal is heading into its sixth season, it’s possible that this or the next season will be its last. And it seems that this latest move may be gearing towards the end of the series.
Luckily for Scandal, Rhimes kicked off her new show, The Catch, earlier this year. Only time will tell whether or not the show will live up to the high numbers that Rhimes pulls in for her series during ABC’s #TGIT. The series follows Alice Vaughn, a private investigator who falls victim to love, as her fiance commits fraud against her. Rhimes also produces the popular series, How To Get Away With Murder.
As for Washington, even without Scandal, she’s likely to continue to be busy. She’s recently starred in a TV film, Confirmation, where she played Anita Hill in a story about when she accused her colleague, Judge Clarence Thomas, of sexually harassing her in the midst of Thomas’ nomination to the United States Supreme Court.
In addition, Washington, along with her husband, NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha, is expecting a second child after she gave birth to their daughter, Isabelle Amarachi, in 2014.
On top of that, Washington also works in activism as a proponent to stop violence against women. In the same interview with the AP, she shared that she often feels like Olivia Pope — the political fixer she plays in Scandal — in real life when as she’s taking a more active role in producing projects.
“I think the thing that most surprised me about producing is that it kind of brings out my own inner Olivia Pope, ironically,” said Washington. “I love producing because it allows me to play other characters in other worlds in other situations. But that part of me, that part of Kerry that likes to be a fixer and a helper and solve problems, is really able to play. I’m not exactly wearing a white suit or a white hat or carrying Prada. I usually have on sneakers and jeans and a baseball cap. But I still have a little Olivia Pope with me when I’m producing.”
[Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images]