'Scandal': Shonda Rhimes and show inspiration Judy Smith on the 'juicy mystery' of Season 1


Kerry Washington's character on ABC's new drama "Scandal" is a crisis manager. She's not a practicing lawyer (although she has a law degree) and not a PR mouthpiece (although that can be part of her job), but someone who helps her clients' public problems go away.The show, which comes from "Grey's Anatomy" and "Private Practice" creator Shonda Rhimes, is inspired by the work of Judy Smith, a Washington-based crisis manager who has done work for clients ranging from Monica Lewinsky to Michael Vick to BP. Rhimes' interest in the subject, though, predates her meeting with Smith."My simple answer is, [producing partner Betsy Beers] and I became interested in the world of crisis management when we were in our own crisis," Rhimes says. "That would be very accurate," Beers adds. They don't elaborate on the subject, but it's hard not to think back to the controversy surrounding Isaiah Washington's exit from "Grey's" in 2007. "We often...



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