Scandal is an American political thriller television series starring Kerry Washington. Created by Shonda Rhimes, it aired on ABC from April 5, 2012, until April 19, 2018, for 124 episodes over seven seasons. 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.The show takes place in Washington, D.C. and focuses on Olivia Pope's crisis management firm, Olivia Pope & Associates (OPA), and its staff, as well as staff at the White House and surrounding political scene. In addition to Kerry Washington, the show features Tony Goldwyn as Fitzgerald Grant III, the President of the United States—later a former President—and Olivia's main love interest; Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan, an assistant at OPA (later renamed Quinn Perkins & Associates or QPA), and also the former White House Press Secretary and Chief of Staff; Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins, former assistant at OPA and later head of QPA; Guillermo Diaz as Huck, a former agent of a spy agency called B613 and assistant at QPA; Jeff Perry as Cyrus Beene, the former White House Chief of Staff under Grant and later Vice President of the United States under Mellie Grant; Joshua Malina as David Rosen, the Attorney General; Bellamy Young as Mellie Grant, the ex–First Lady, a former senator, and later the President of the United States after Grant; Scott Foley as Jake Ballard, the Director of the NSA and Olivia's secondary love interest; Cornelius Smith Jr. as Marcus Walker, a civil rights activist, who used to be an OPA assistant and White House Press Secretary; Joe Morton as Eli "Rowan" Pope, Olivia's father and the former head of B613; and George Newbern as Charlie, a former B613 agent who later becomes a member of QPA.
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. 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.