ABC has confirmed that popular political thriller series Scandal will be ending after the upcoming seventh season.
The Hollywood Reporter (THR) reports that Channing Dungey, ABC Entertainment President, said Rhimes had always envisioned the series ending in its seventh season.
“I had conversations with Shonda that gave me a sense of how she wanted the story to end,” Dungey told reporters on Tuesday. “She said: ‘Look, I really feel like season seven is where I want to wrap up this story, because I always prefer to end a show when you’re feeling on top, as opposed to letting things fizzle out.’
Although it hasn’t been revealed how many episodes will make up the last season, it is expected to be relatively short, like her other shows.
“I do think that audiences, especially fans and Gladiators, who are as loyal to Scandal as they have been, are going to want the story to end in the way Shonda intended,” said Dungey. “That was a decision about which she felt really good and we support it wholeheartedly.”
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In a statement on Tuesday, Rhimes said: “Deciding how to end a show is easy. Deciding when to finish is quite simple when the end date is years away. But actually going through with it? Actually standing up to say: ‘This is it?’ Not so much. So next year, we are going all out. Leaving nothing on the table. Creating this world in celebration. We are going to handle the end the way we like to handle the important things in our Scandal family: all together, white hats on, Gladiators running full speed over a cliff.”
THR further reveals that the decision to end the show was also influenced by Donald Trump’s win in the US presidential election in November 2016.
Producers reportedly had to “scrap a planned storyline about Russians hacking the show’s presidential election when reality hit too close to home”.
In an interview with THR in April, Rhimes was vocal about the uncertainty of the future of the show.
“Any of the stories we planned now just feel like we’re copying what’s happening in reality, which is insane,” she said. “I used to know how it ended, and then Donald Trump was elected. We had a destination and I don’t know if that’s our destination anymore.”