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UPDATE: Watch Official Trailer For Shonda Rhimes’ New ABC Series Starring Kerry Washington

by Tambay A. Obenson
May 18, 2011 3:09 AM
26 Comments
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UPDATE: Thanks to reader LadyB for pointing us to the series' official trailer, on YouTube; it gives us a lot more to look at, in order to get a better feel for the series... more-so than the short preview clip I posted yesterday, which didn't impress many of you. My initial post follows below, and the official trailer is at the bottom of this post, after the preview clip.

It's that time of the year as the networks unveil their next season goodies. And here (in the pic above and video clip below) we have our official first look at Kerry Washington, Columbus Short and others in the new Shonda Rhimes series now titled Scandal. I say "now titled" because it was previously known as Damage Control. I think I like Scandal better anyway.

As already reported on this site, the series is based on the life of real-life Washington-based PR guru Judy Smith – former White House press aide under President George H. Bush, who also counseled Monica Lewinsky, Michael Vick, Senator Larry Craig, worked on the prosecution of former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry, the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court hearings, the Chandra Levy investigation and the Enron Congressional inquiry.

Kerry Washington stars as Judy Smith (who’ll be known as Olivia Price in the series), who’s described as “stylish but weary, too smart for her own good, something of a legend, formidable, driven, insightful, intuitive and fearless; heads up a team of crack legal experts.

Columbus Short will play a lawyer on her team.

The now official full synopsis reads: “From the creator and executive producers of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “Private Practice” comes a drama revolving around the life and work of a professional crisis manager and her dysfunctional staff. A former media relations consultant to the President, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) dedicates her life to protecting and defending the public images of our nation’s elite. After leaving the White House, the power consultant opened her own firm, hoping to start a new chapter -- both professionally and personally -- but she can’t seem to completely cut ties with her past. Slowly it becomes apparent that her staff, who specialize in fixing the lives of other people, can’t quite fix the ones closest at hand -- their own.

Not sure when exactly it'll make its debut next season, though that info will be released eventually.

Watch the short preview clip below:

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26 Comments

  • Blow Up Your TV | July 25, 2011 6:27 AMReply

    Oh yeah, let's glorify a shadowy right wing operative on mainstream television.

    Blow up your TV.

  • Vick | May 24, 2011 10:17 AMReply

    I notice a lot of people complaining about a trailer I think that is just pathetic and lame. Nobody has seen an episode of Scandal yet people are already upset. No wonder black shows on mainstream television don't last long when black people do not support them.

    I like Shonda Rhimes and I am glad she FINALLY gave a talented young black actress such as Kerry Washington the lead role. I sincerely hope this show has some romance in it. Kerry Washington is a good choice because she has crossover appeal. I wonder what race Kerry's love interest will be? It will be interesting to see what Shonda decides to do? If Shonda puts Kerry with a black man then the show will be called a black show. But if Shonda puts Kerry with a white man then it might upset white and black folks? My guess is Shonda will probably pair Kerry with a Latino or an Asian male.

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 19, 2011 11:50 AMReply

    @BluTopaz
    “I’m not sure why people are saying this show is not original, when it’s based on a real person? I wonder if Judy Price added any contributions to the scripts.”

    IMDb has her listed as "Co-executive Producer" which could be anything. I'm thinking she was added as Co-executive Producer for profit sharing purposes instead of just “consultant”. Basically we want to mine your past for story ideas and if we are getting it somewhat right. In the long run of all TV shows it is the producers who reap the profits.

    As far as not being original I see that too. It does look like the average lawyer show. NO they probably won't go to court like the rest of them, but all of these lawyer shows help some client get out of a jam. As a fan of ‘The Practice’ and ‘L.A. Law’ I’ve seen it more than a dozen times.

    I think the REAL appeal of this show is the access to the real person whom this show is based on -- Judy Smith. With her added as Co-executive Producer she definitely would want the show to succeed and I can see her providing some juicy tidbits, without betraying confidences of course, about the scandals she’s been involved in. Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

  • Dui Jarrod | May 19, 2011 1:40 AMReply

    While everybody focusing on TP and Spike only...SHONDA is KILLING the game!!!!!!!! Congrats beautiful black woman...

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 18, 2011 10:33 AMReply

    This is what I wrote on my blog about the show back when it was announced in February 2011- "I'm a fan of Shonda Rhimes DESPITE not watching any of her previous shows. Her “medical shows” just didn’t appeal to me. I’m a fan because of the moves she has made in Hollywood as a successful African American Executive Producer.

    I’m also a fan of Kerry Washington having enjoyed her work in numerous films including the recent ‘Night Catches Us’ I also like the additions of Columbus Short and Henry Ian Cusick and YES unlike her other shows the concept of this show does appeal to me."

    Having said that I’ve been up on and reporting all the news I read about this show and the clip…did not wow me. I pride myself on having a good Traidar (Trailer radar. I got it added to Urban Dictionary!) and while this wasn’t a trailer per se the clip seemed too cutesy…a lot like what ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ looks like to me. Knowing glances, cute repartee/banter. I will still give this show a try about 3 episodes or so before I bail.

    3 or 4 episodes is a good barometer for these shows. I gave ‘Hawaii-5-O’ and ‘The Event’ that same test and while I hated ‘Hawaii-5-O’ all the way through my test ‘The Event’ really grew on me and I have watched every episode this (and as it turns out its only) season. Series change so much from the pilot sometimes you can’t just bail according to the pilot unless it is truly bad.

    I watched ‘Happy Endings’ with Damon Wayans Jr. mostly because it came on after the most excellent ‘Modern Family’ and it was one of the worst pilots I have seen. I’m like “They bought the show from this?” Turns out the next episode that followed was pretty good. Am I still watching? No, but it proved to me that sometimes you have to give a show a chance and I will give this one just that.

  • Dr. Boogie | May 18, 2011 6:56 AMReply

    Go Kerry! Preview approved. Shonda-make it do what it do.....

  • ska-triumph | May 18, 2011 6:33 AMReply

    I'm truly excited for the show. Ms. Rhimes has a Black woman front and center, running things. And after reading the script WAY back before the pilot was shot, I saw Ms. Washington (major crushola here) all over it. Ms. Rhimes can write - duh! - and if it hits the right notes the way GOOD WIFE did, Ms. Washington can see some Emmy nominations. It's like it's tailor-fitted to her range and style. Glad to see her getting on TV while the gettin' is good.

  • ladyb | May 18, 2011 6:15 AMReply

    Check out the other trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=prE0lIZOqbk

  • BluTopaz | May 18, 2011 5:44 AMReply

    anyone else notice the other two actresses in the pic look like twin Stepford wives

  • BluTopaz | May 18, 2011 5:41 AMReply

    Dankwa-LOL-I thought the same thing about the Hispanic actor's role-"...he is the scruffy Everyman who can fit into the crowd..."

    I'm not sure why people are saying this show is not original, when it's based on a real person? I wonder if Judy Price added any contributions to the scripts. I just love the trinity of this show: lovely Black actress playing a kick ass Black pr pro and produced by a star Black woman.

  • misha | May 18, 2011 5:10 AMReply

    The trailer is much better. I'll definitely give this a shot.

    @Dankwa, the concept is nothing original but as always, the writing and actors will be the deciding factor. Just having KW in the leading role makes it different from the rest.

  • Dankwa Brooks | May 18, 2011 4:31 AMReply

    @ BluTopaz Yeah I never thought about that. While I still like ‘Damage Control’ it probably WAS too close to ‘Damages’. ‘Scandal’?...it’s gonna have to grow on me.

    My Traidar (see earlier post) out of 10 went from a 2 to a 7. The trailer is better, but I’m still not horribly impressed. It seems awfully run of the mill and I know this is probably all from the pilot episode. I’m still gonna give it my 3-4 episode try though.

    A lot of the supporting characters that I know are all good though, Columbus Short and Guillermo Diaz (that scruffy looking Hispanic guy to the far left who always keeps working.) Let me guess is the private investigator for the “firm” who doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty.

    Kerry looks great in the trailer though and looks large and in charge!

  • BluTopaz | May 18, 2011 3:43 AMReply

    The "Damage Control" title was probably too close to "Damages" with Glenn Close, another show about a high profile businesswoman.

    Anyway it's fantastic to see Kerry headlining this. And yeah about this photo. There probably haven't been any promotional photos of say, The Closer where Kyra Sedgwick is not positioned front and center.

  • New Horizons | May 18, 2011 1:08 AMReply

    Kerry Washington is extremely charismatic onscreen and in a more perfect world could be a huge film star.

    This clip didn't grab me but I still think it has potential to be interesting.

    I share the same concern Reg has about it being about a firm just protecting the rich. It makes it hard to root for the protagonists.

    Jug you are absolutely right about Damage Control sounding more exciting than Fixer. I can't really think of a remotely solid reason why they made the change. The title Fixer would seem to suggest it's about one particular person. I guess that would make sense since the show does revolve around Ms. Washington's character. Perhaps the name was changed because Fixer is a more positive sounding term even if it doesn't really illicit a strong feeling. Jug if you have any ideas let us know.

    Best of luck to the shows creators and stars.

  • tepnlex | May 17, 2011 12:50 PMReply

    Kerry Washington is always great. And I like Columbus Short. But, pass the remote.

  • true | May 17, 2011 11:28 AMReply

    Love Kerry and I will be watching. I wish people would get off that black & white thing, it's just so damn annoying.

  • sandra | May 17, 2011 10:19 AMReply

    This preview was odd. I don't have a clear sense of the show. My mind kept wandering. Not captivating. Just flat.

  • arlie | May 17, 2011 9:27 AMReply

    hi I will watch anything that Henry Ian Cusick has a role in. I do have to agree with not liking the name change though. Damage Control was much better,

  • Lena | May 17, 2011 8:38 AMReply

    Looks boring as hell! I was yawning thru the entire preview. Kerry protecting the rich white elitist? Really Shondra why? And if this is based on someone that worked FOR Bush then I say hell to the NO. I think I prefer Kerry as a former Black Panther....

  • slb | May 17, 2011 8:35 AMReply

    I have been interested in this show ever since it was announced, despite the involvement of the Queen of Melodrama, Shonda Rhimes. "Damage Control" is a better title than "Scandal". "Scandal" makes the show (and by extension the work of the characters) sound low brow. Also, @Cherish, I feel you on the girl being in the middle of the promo photo. Without seeing any of the show besides the above clip, I anticipate this will be a show where we see work and characters through the eyes of this idealistic newbie to the firm who has a lot to learn about damage control. So that's my guess on why she's featured in the photo. I can see them making this show less and less about Kerry Washington's character and about "the others". Just sayin'.

  • Cherish | May 17, 2011 7:48 AMReply

    If the show revolves around Kerry Washington's character, why is the White girl sitting in the middle?

    I'm just sayin....

    This show has potential, but I agree about the name change, don't like "Fixer."

    Kerry is great, and can make this show a success. Shonda sure needs ones after that disaster "off the map"

  • kia | May 17, 2011 5:23 AMReply

    Kerry looks confident and well placed here. Can't wait to see this.

  • reg | May 17, 2011 5:23 AMReply

    agree with lynn about it's prospects (but i'm usually pulling for shows that get yanked too early: "lone star," anyone?)
    but my main problem is with the premise: "A former media relations consultant to the President, Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) dedicates her life to protecting and defending the public images of our nation’s elite." what a drag! i'm supposed to root for these people why??!! unless a strain of this thing is all about how most of her clients deserve to be in jail and she's (or someone!) got problems with that, it don't look very appetizing. looks like more crap for folks who care about what oprah thinks.

  • MR. Beans | May 17, 2011 5:19 AMReply

    Kerry Washington just beautiful!! I'm so proud of her! I will definitely be watching.

  • Jug | May 17, 2011 5:16 AMReply

    Here's the thing..it's too dark for ABC. Visually, they don't like dark shows-goes along with their stuff being very soapy. It's interesting how when they shoot shows set in DC, they often go dark with the wardrobes & set design, but they ALWAYS go dark with the lighting.

    I will lay money this thing gets "bright" by the second to third episode. The script was pretty good, best thing Shonda's done since Grey's but the name sucks. Shoulda kept it DAMAGE CONTROL, SCANDAL sounds like they work for TMZ-they don't want people to think it's a procedural :-(

    Will def give it a day in court tho. Has some actors I like on it

  • Lynn | May 17, 2011 5:07 AMReply

    It looks pretty good. But unfortunately i don't see it lasting very long.

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