The finale of “Scandal” was watched by over 9 million people on Thursday. That marks a huge jump from the start of the second season last fall when just 6 million were tuning in to watch this political drama on ABC. Indeed, the show now rivals lead-in “Grey’s Anatomy” for the top slot among the coveted demo of viewers 18 to 49.
Credit this rise in ratings to a combo of compelling storytelling by “Grey’s” creator Shonda Rhimes and heightened interest in star Kerry Washington. She saw her profile rise big-time with her turn in last winter’s Oscar-winning “Django Unchained.”
She plays political fixer Olivia Pope who is involved both professionally and personally with the president (Tony Goldwyn). The show has just that right blend of bedroom and boardroom scenes to generate a lot of water cooler talk.
Washington sits in seventh place among those vying for the six slots in the Best Drama Actress race. Only four African American women have even contended for this award and none has won.
Debbie Allen cracked this glass celling for her role on the syndicated musical drama “Fame” with a bid in 1982 and contended three more times. In 1986, Emmy darling Alfre Woodard was nominated for “St. Elsewhere”. Six years later, Regina Taylor received the first of two consecutive bids for her work on the family drama “I’ll Fly Away”. And in 1995, Cicely Tyson was cited for the short-lived legal drama “Sweet Justice”.
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