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‘Scandal’ to be revealed this Thursday

“Scandal,” a new ABC show by “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” creator Shonda Rhimes, stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, the head of a crisis management firm in Washington, D.C. Danny Feld | ABC

“Scandal,” a new ABC show by “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” creator Shonda Rhimes, stars Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, the head of a crisis management firm in Washington, D.C.

Since “Grey’s Anatomy” premiered on ABC in 2005, its creator, Shonda Rhimes, has been kind of a big deal for the network. “Grey’s,” currently in its eight season and renewed for a ninth, is one of ABC’s biggest success stories. Its spinoff, “Private Practice,” was a huge success as well after its premiere in 2007, and even with its decline in viewers, it’s still a modest hit. Last year, ABC premiered “Off the Map,” a Rhimes medical drama set in the South African jungle. It was not a success (to say the least), but Rhimes had enough lingering cred with ABC to give her newest show a go. This show, “Scandal,” is Rhimes’ first non-medical show, but it will fit right in with the ABC Thursday lineup.

The show centers on a Washington, D.C., crisis management firm. They fix problems for their elite clients. No matter what the problem is, they will always make it go away. Kerry Washington (“Ray”) stars as Olivia Pope, head of the firm and a major player in the D.C. scene. The show also stars Henry Ian Cusick, giving “Lost” fans their reason to tune in. Viewers access the firm through the character of Quinn Rielly (Katie Lowes, who has guest starred on “Grey’s” and “Practice”), the newbie who has idolized Pope for as long as she can remember.

The show shares key characteristics with “Grey’s Anatomy” and all of Rhimes’ other shows. The dialogue is quick and quirky, and the main characters play off each other very well. There is a huge starring cast, and most of them are very attractive. I’ve only watched the first seven minutes that ABC has put online, but it looks like a lot of them are going to sleep with each other.

In the pilot episode, the firm has to manage the problems of the president of the United States. The show is rumored to be based off the more recent Bush administration, linking its soapy aspects to reality.

“Scandal” seems like a fun drama that tries to be way more serious than it actually is. And unlike “Grey’s Anatomy,” there probably won’t be deaths every episode, so that helps with the lightness factor, too. The show will air on ABC on Thursday at 9 p.m. CDT.