Endless scandals fuel new ABC series

By Laurie Bennett

May 18, 2011 at 8:06am

Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Arnold Schwarzenegger need someone like Olivia Pope, the main character of “Scandal,” a new show set to air on ABC.

Pope, played by Kerry Washington, “fixes things” for famous people swept up in explosive controversies.

Not since “West Wing” has there been a show with so much marketing potential in actual events. With a pre-launch title of “Damage Control,” the series was created by Shonda Rhimes, producer of such successful dramas as “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice.”

Pope’s character as a DC crisis manager was inspired by the real-life Judy Smith, former deputy press secretary to President George H.W. Bush.

Smith’s clients have included Monica Lewinsky; Chandra Levy’s parents, Bill Johnson, the former congressman who was convicted of bribery; and Larry Craig, who left the Senate after his arrest for lewd conduct in an airport restroom.

When Kwame M. Kilpatrick, then mayor of Detroit, was arrested for perjury and other felonies, he hired Smith.

After Michael Vick had served his sentence for dogfighting and wanted to return to the NFL, Smith was brought in to help broker agreements for his participation in anti-cruelty efforts.

If “Scandal” doesn’t last more than a season, it certainly won’t be for a lack of story material.

Here’s the trailer released by ABC:

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  • #1.   Arlie 05.18.2011

    They didnt mention that Henry Ian Cusick who played the time traveling Desmond in LOST is also in the cast od Scandal.

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