Ellen Pompeo, Kate Walsh and, for a short while, Caroline Dhavernas have all been leading ladies in shows from hitmaker Shonda Rhimes. Now, Kerry Washington steps up to the plate in Rhimes' new drama Scandal, which follows the exploits of professional fixer Olivia Pope, who manages the crises of the rich and famous on Capitol Hill. In the series premiere, Pope was tasked with cleaning up the potential controversy of a respected military man and murder suspect whose alibi turned out to be his boyfriend.
"I feel like the luckiest broad in show biz," Washington says of working with hit maker Rhimes. "I don't quite know how this happened, but I do feel like every time I read an episode it is Christmas morning."
TVGuide.com caught up with Washington to discuss being front and center in ABC's new drama, along with what's in store for Olivia Pope, the woman who's fixing everyone else's problems while toeing the ethical line:
Ellen Pompeo, Shonda Rhimes, Kate Walsh
Shonda Rhimes truly is a busy lady. Not only does she executive-produce two shows on the air — Grey's Anatomy and Private Practice — but her new political drama Scandal premieres next month, and she's got a period piece in contention at ABC. And while there's speculation her load could lighten should Grey's or Private fail to be renewed, Rhimes assures us that's not likely. TVGuide.com caught up with the showrunner for an uncensored look at everything on her plate, including actors' contracts, Private's move to Tuesdays and her upcoming projects...
Kate Walsh, Shape Magazine
Private Practice star Kate Walsh didn't have to be coerced into posing nude for the cover of Shape's March issue. In fact, it was her idea.
Anika Noni Rose and Taye Diggs
Sam's sister has arrived!
Corrine, played by Tony winner Anika Noni Rose, made a brief appearance in last week's episode when Sam (Taye Diggs) bailed her out of jail after she robbed a convenience store. First impressions aside, she's no common criminal, and despite what the promos lead you to believe, she's not just some drugged out, desperate woman. She's actually...
Justin Chambers and Ellen Pompeo
Things are about to get awfully busy on TV, as the February sweeps kick into gear tonight, meaning an end to the midwinter repeats for several weeks and blockbuster events over the next few weekends, starting with Sunday's Super Bowl on NBC, and continuing with the Grammys on CBS and the Oscars on ABC — just a guess, but these aren't listed merely sequentially but also in terms of audience buzz. (Adele joining the Grammy live-performance lineup makes that show instantly more interesting than anything that's likely to happen with this year's underpowered Oscars lineup.)
Meredith is bright and shiny, Callie has kids with Owen, and Derek and Addison are still married.
These are just a few of the ways the world of Grey's Anatomy is turned upside down when Meredith imagines what life would be like if her mom had never gotten sick. In a special alternate-reality episode, airing Thursday at 9/8c on ABC, Ellis Grey (Kate Burton) was never stricken with Alzheimer's, and Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) had a very different upbringing. Instead of dark and twisty, Meredith is happy and engaged... to Alex Karev (Justin Chambers)!
Bad news MerDer fans: Derek (Patrick Dempsey) and Addison (Kate Walsh) are also still married. And she's pregnant!
Check out photos from Grey's Anatomy's alt-reality episode
TVGuide.com hit the set of Grey's Anatomy to get the scoop on the new Seattle Grace gang. Plus: Check out a first look at the alt-reality episode!
Meredith is pretty in pink: "She...
Hugh Laurie, Teri Hatcher, Mariska Hargitay
Every week, editors Adam Bryant and Natalie Abrams satisfy your need for TV scoop. Please send all questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for the preview of next week's House. Anything else you can tell me? — Alex
ADAM: While lots of (deserved) attention has been paid to Jeffrey Wright's excellent guest turn as a neurologist deciding House's fate, don't take your eyes off the rest of the team. The incident that leads to the investigation leaves a major character fighting serious injuries that could upend his or her future on the show. And the crippling fallout will even have Dr. Crankypants uttering the words — gasp! — "I'm sorry."
Is Julie really pregnant on Desperate Housewives? — Jaime
NATALIE: The promos don't lie, and neither do we. Susan is going to be a grandma. The surprise twist? The father...
Ellen Pompeo and Justin Chambers
Ever wonder what a "bright and shiny" Meredith would look like?
The Thursday, Feb. 2 episode of Grey's Anatomy will feature an alternate reality where Ellis Grey (Kate Burton) was never stricken with Alzheimer's, leading to a very different upbringing for Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). The once dark and twisty doc is now happily... engaged to Alex Karev (Justin Chambers)?! The bad news? Derek (Patrick Dempsey) and Addison (Kate Walsh) are also still married... and she's pregnant! (Get even more scoop on the alt-episode here.)
Ellen Pompeo and Justin Chambers
Seattle Grace is about to get turned upside-down.
The Thursday, Feb. 2 episode of Grey's Anatomy will feature an alternate reality where Ellis Grey (Kate Burton) was never stricken with Alzheimer's, leading to a very different upbringing for Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo). The once dark and twisty doc is now bright and shiny. The bad news? Derek (Patrick Dempsey) and Addison (Kate Walsh) are also still married.
Ellen Pompeo, Patrcik Dempsey
After two months off the air and the sad death of Teddy's husband, the spring episodes of Grey's Anatomy promise happier times, especially now that Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) and Derek (Patrick Dempsey) finally got custody of baby Zola. We'll even see a not "dark and twisty" Meredith in the special alternate-reality episode. But it's not all bright and shiny: TVGuide.com sat down with executive producer Shonda Rhimes, who told us that Cristina (Sandra Oh), for one, is heading toward dark times. And what's this about George and Izzie returning?