‘Scandal’ Spinoff? It Could Happen, Says ABC President

Decision to keep “Scandal” universe alive lies with Shonda Rhimes, says network president Channing Dungey

Last Updated: May 16, 2017 @ 10:10 AM

ABC is “absolutely” be open to the idea of a “Scandal” spinoff should creator Shonda Rhimes want one, network president Channing Dungey said Tuesday.

But Dungey said the decision whether or not to continue with the “Scandal” universe will ultimately be left up to Rhimes. “For those of you know Shonda, there’s no one who keeps things closer to the vest,” Dungey said. “Besides, maybe, Marvel.”

Dungey’s comments came in a conference call with reporters to discuss her network’s upcoming fall schedule, which will see “Scandal” return for its seventh and final season.

“We are still talking about the total episode count,” Dungey said, adding that she only has a “top-line view” of what the final season will be.

The decision to end the Kerry Washington-led political drama stemmed from conversations with Rhimes, who said that she believed the seventh season to be the best place end the show creatively, a decision backed by the network.

“I always prefer to end the show when you’re creatively on top,” Dungey said. “That was the decision that she felt really good about and we support whole-heartedly.”

Dungey also discussed the decision to revive “American Idol” after having reportedly passed on the show in the in past. “It was less of a pass initially, there were some very early conversations that were floated,” she said. “That was just a very early, kind of preliminary inquiry.”

The exec promised that the new version of “Idol” will see some format changes and will “have a very clear ABC hallmark and brand on it.” However, she declined to offer any details regarding the scheduling of the show come midseason or which talent will be involved.

“From where we sit, we feel like it’s the perfect time to bring the series back,” Dungey said.

The exec also pushed back on speculation that the cancellation of Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing” had anything to do with the star’s politics. “Sadly, a large part of these jobs is managing failure,” Dungey said. “I canceled ‘Last Man Standing’ for the same reasons that I canceled ‘The Real O’Neals,’ ‘The Catch’ and ‘American Crime.'”

Though the show’s Friday night ratings have held steady across the last few seasons, the network decided to move “Once Upon a Time” and its two Marvel series to Fridays this year, and there wasn’t enough justification for “Last Man” to move to another night of the week.

“Once we decided to not continue comedies on Fridays, that was where we landed,” Dungey said.