“To be honest, I had conversations with Shonda where she has had, for a while, a sense of how she wanted the story to end,” ABC chief Channing Dungey told reporters at the upfront presentation. “We sat and we talked and she said, ‘Look, I really feel like season 7 is where I want to wrap up this story because I always prefer to end a show where you’re feeling on top as opposed to letting things fizzle out.’ I do think that audiences, especially fans and Gladiators, who are as loyal to ‘Scandal’ as they’ve been, are going to want the story to end in the way that Shonda intended to. That was a decision she felt really good about and we support wholeheartedly.”
The Hollywood Reporter said that, according to sources, Rhimes has previously expressed wanting to run the show for seven seasons.
The current season was originally set to include a storyline in which Russians hacked the presidential election, but it was too close to reality and was scrapped.
As bittersweet as the news is, fans have a lot to look forward to for the final season, according to a statement from Rhimes:
“Deciding how to end a show is easy. 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.”
Through her own company Shondaland, Rhimes is producing an upcoming period drama “Still Star-Crossed,” which takes place after the events in “Romeo and Juliet.” She is also still at the helm of other successful shows, producing “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Catch” and “How to Get Away with Murder.”