Why Kerry Washington’s “Scandal” Got Full-season Order from ABC

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By Nomalanga Mhlauli-Moses

Kerry Washington’s “Scandal” has been given a full-season order from ABC. That means that the original agreement for 13 episodes has been extended to a total of 22.

When “Scandal” first hit the small screen, it immediately created a buzz. First of all, the main character, Olivia Pope, is based off of an actual real life person. Pope, played by Kerry Washington, is based on former George Bush administration press aide Judy Smith, who is also the show’s co-executive producer.

The show, as you might have imagined from the title, is scandalous. Speaking as a Black woman, I imagine that the show’s popularity among Black women has a lot to do with the main character. She’s gorgeous, she’s ambitious, driven and she’s in charge. The importance of her role is multifaceted.

On one hand she is a highly sought after consultant who get’s the job done, no matter what, and then on the other hand she is a woman who is hopelessly in love with a man she knows will never truly be committed to her. To add another layer of spice, the man she is in love with is white and he is married and he is the president!

My personal preference would have been that the man she tumbled in the sheets with not be another woman’s husband, but I understand that the show was not created for my preferences; it was created to be scandalous and it delivers what it was created to be. I was a late comer to Scandal, only starting to watch it this fall as the second season unfolds and I can honestly say that I understand why it has caught on. I fondly refer to it as my guilty pleasure but there is actually a reason why I and other women of color would be hooked on the show.

Like I said, it’s great to see a woman of color in a leading role. And for those who, like me, who wish we could see a women of color in a leading role without her rolling in the hay with “the boss”, I have a bit of good news. She has ended the relationship with the commander in chief.

As the rest of the season unravels, it will be interesting to see where producer, Shonda Rhimes, steers the show. Rhimes, who is also the producer of the successful  ABC show, “Grey’s Anatomy” seems to have the secret for creating shows that draw us in and then get us hooked. If you have any doubts about how successful Scandal is, consider this:  “The political drama has pulled in over six million viewers for each of its four episodes during the fall.”

I may have my reservations about “Ms. Pope”, but I will be watching.

Nomalanga helps Black Women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , Assistant Professor of Professional Studies and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s blog at