scandal kerry washington olivia pope

Scandal has been bringing all kinds of political melodrama to the small screen for the past six years, and it's almost hard to imagine primetime without a new season either to look forward to or playing out. Sadly, Scandal will end after the upcoming Season 7, and the big question has been how many episodes we'll get in the final season. Now, we finally know. The seventh and final season of Scandal will run for 18 episodes on ABC.

Season 7 will run for two more episodes than Season 6, which TVLine reports was originally slated for a full 22 episodes. The order was cut down to 16 to accommodate star Kerry Washington's pregnancy, and the action picked up in midseason rather than in the fall as usual. Season 7 will therefore be longer than Season 6 and the seven-episode Season 1, but shorter or tied with Seasons 2-5. Hopefully the Scandal team will be able to wrap up all the loose ends in the span of only 18 episodes. By the very end, Scandal will have run for 124 episodes.

All things considered, that's a pretty healthy run for any series. Not every show even makes it to Season 7. Fans were treated to the milestone 100th episode back in April, and it was a pretty wild ride that touched on alternate versions of many of the big moments of the series to that point. It was an episode that proved Scandal still knows how to pull out all the stops.

Season 6 also proved that Scandal still knows how to pull of a shocking death. The brutal beating to death of Elizabeth North in the eleventh episode took plenty of fans by surprise. While Lizzie was technically killed off because Shonda Rhimes was accommodating actress Portia de Rossi's desire to move on from the show, there were plenty of possible departures that wouldn't have involved what will undoubtedly go down as one of the show's most unforgettable deaths.

There are a lot of directions that Season 7 could go when it returns. The Season 6 finale ended with Mellie Grant getting sworn into office as the next president, Cyrus landing the nomination for vice president despite being revealed as a puppet master, and Olivia Pope using her position as the new chief of staff to reinstate the black-ops group known as B613. Instead of appointing somebody else to run it, however, Olivia keeps the leadership role for herself and becomes one of the most powerful people in the country, if not the world.

Scandal will return to ABC on Thursdays this fall. If you need to catch up on all things Scandal, all six seasons so far are already streaming on Netflix. Our 2017 Netflix premiere schedule can show you everything else available streaming, and our summer TV premiere guide can reveal what's going on in primetime now and in the coming weeks.

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