Network president Channing Dungey confirmed suspicions that the Gladiator's days were numbered during a conference call with reporters ahead of ABC's big presentation during the 2017 Upfronts week in New York City. "I do think the audiences, fans and Gladiators...are going to want the story to end in the way that Shonda intended," she said, adding that the network supports Shonda's decision "wholeheartedly."
"Deciding how to end a show is easy," Shonda Rhimes, Scandal's creator and executive producer, said in a statement. "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."
Rumors about Scandal ending first circulated weeks ago, but went unconfirmed. For her part, Rhimes has been open about the show having a definitive conclusion.
"I feel like there is a finite amount of Scandal to be told. I know what the end of Scandal will be, and I feel really good about that. And I can see where the end point is. And I don't think I'm going to change that...I know how long it will be, but we'll see," Rhimes previously told NPR.
Washington told Glamour she trusted Rhimes' decision.
"It's not really up to me," she said. "It's up to Shonda and to the network. Shonda has said from the beginning that she kind of knows how it ends. So, I'm trusting her to guide the arc."
"Shonda has decided the series needs to come to a close, and while this is definitely a bittersweet moment for all of us gladiators, I have no doubt what she has in store for the final season will be as powerful as what's come before, and we will be sure to honor that every step of the way," Dungey said in a statement.
Scandal also stars Tony Goldwyn, Bellamy Young, Scott Foley, Katie Lowes, Guillermo Diaz, Darby Stanchfield, Joshua Malina, Jeff Perry and Joe Morton.
Will you be sorry to see Scandal go or it is time to hang up the white hat? Sound off in the comments below!
Scandal's two-hour season six finale airs Thursday, May 18 at 9 p.m. on ABC.