Though not yet confirmed by ABC, TV Line is reporting that the upcoming seventh season of Scandal will be its last. The decision, which should be made official at ABC’s upfront presentation this coming Tuesday, was purportedly made by series creator Shonda Rhimes and subsequently accepted by the ABC brass. There’s no word yet on how many episodes season seven of Scandal would consist of or on if we can expect a premiere in the fall or midseason.
Scandal‘s journey has definitely been unexpected after the show’s first season was fairly low-key in terms of ratings. Considering the strength of ABC’s relationship with Rhimes, they picked up a second season of the then-bubble drama and watched as ratings exploded thanks to a presidential assassination arc that reverberated throughout social media. The show then became one of ABC’s cornerstones for the remainder of its run and helped construct TGIT, the branded night of Rhimes programming that has been formidable for seasons.
ABC goes into the 2017-18 season looking to rebuild its drama slate after it’s become overly dour and top-heavy. Aside from Scandal, the only drama strength ABC has lies with Grey’s Anatomy, Designated Survivor, and How to Get Away with Murder, which puts more pressure on their development next season.
For her part, this will be the second long-running show from Rhimes to conclude on its own terms, with Grey’s spinoff Private Practice ending a six-year run earlier this decade. The super-producer still has Grey’s, Murder, and bubble drama The Catch at ABC, with period drama Still Star-Crossed to premiere this summer and a legal drama in contention for next season.
The two-hour sixth season finale of Scandal is set to air Thursday, May 18th on ABC.