ABC capped off its Shondaland night Thursday with prolific showrunner Shonda Rhimes taking center stage on Jimmy Kimmel Live! The executive producer behind Scandal and Grey’s Anatomy was the featured guest as Jimmy Kimmel hit the Hollywood set of the network’s fast-paced political thriller during an entire episode dedicated to the Kerry Washington drama.
The special edition of the late-night show — titled Jimmy Kimmel Live: Behind the Scandalabra — also included a never-before-seen blooper reel from the cast and Rhimes fielding burning questions from Thursday night’s Scandal season three finale. (Watch the blooper reel below.)
here are a few of the highlights, including news of Harrison’s fate:
- The pace: Rhimes said the rapid pace of the show is intentional, and she wants the show to feel “like you can’t do other things.” It’s basically the anti-multitasking show (though live tweeting is likely OK).
- On Olivia leaving: “There’s possibilities,” Rhimes said when asked if Olivia (Kerry Washington) was certain she wanted to leave D.C. with Jake (Scott Foley). The showrunner confessed that the look on Olivia’s face made it clear that “she’s not so sure” about the decision to quit OPA and leave to stand in the sun with Jake.
- The biggest debate in the writers’ room: The midseason finale when Jake was selected as B613 Command. They shot scenes with both Jake being named Fitz’s running mate and what aired. Rhimes ultimately watched both and said, “Vice president feels stupid,” and Jake was crowned head of B613.
- Huckleberry Quinn’s dirty deeds: Quinn (Katie Lowes) and Huck (Guillermo Diaz) getting busy for the first time on the hood of the car was pitched in the writers’ room. “Quinn and Huck were not the kind of people to go out to dinner,” Rhimes said. “We wanted their first time to feel like Quinn and Huck.” And yes, someone cleaned the table at OPA after the season finale sex scene in which they “hucked,” as Kimmel called it.
- Harrison’s fate: Rhimes was coy when Kimmel asked one of the biggest burning questions from the season three finale. “You know I can’t tell you whether or not he’s dead,” she said when asked about the fate of Columbus Short’s alter-ego, who was last seen at B613 with a gun to his head. The showrunner, who has killed off her fair share of characters on Scandal, Private Practice and Grey’s Anatomy, explained how challenging it is to kill off a character, especially one who has been on the show for a long time.
“That call is always the worst call to make. I do it myself. You really have to have the topic sentence ready. The first you have to say is you’re going to die and here’s how and I love you,” she said, noting some people do get upset that they’re losing their jobs. She stressed that it’s always in the name of storytelling first.
- The Fitz gauge: Olivia’s feelings for Fitz (Tony Goldwyn) can be measured by where her Grant for President poster is in her office. Rhimes revealed that the framed print — in the style of Shepard Fairey’s Obama poster — is removed from the office if she’s feeling less than loving feelings for the married president.
What are your burning Scandal questions? Sound off in the comments section below and check back to THR’s The Live Feed on Friday for an interview with Goldwyn.
Lesley Goldberg/Celeste Duckworth