by Kimberly C. Roberts
For New Pittsburgh Courier

(NNPA)–In the upcoming episode of “Oprah’s Next Chapter,” airing at 9 p.m., Dec. 9 on OWN: the Oprah Winfrey Network, Winfrey sits down with Kerry Washington, star of the hot ABC drama “Scandal,” and series creator Shonda Rhimes, also the mastermind behind “Grey’s Anatomy.”

LEADING LADY–Kerry Washington arrives at Los Angeles Confidential’s 10th Anniversary event at SupperClub on Dec. 1, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

Having won critical acclaim and a loyal fan following, “Scandal,” according to the network, centers on the “revered and feared” Olivia Pope, a former communications director to the president of the United States, who left the White House to open her own prominent crisis management firm. She is hoping to start a new chapter in her life, both professionally and personally, but she can’t seem to completely cut ties with her past. Slowly it becomes apparent that her dysfunctional staff, which specializes in fixing other peoples’ lives, can’t quite fix their own.

ABC recently announced that due to its increasingly large viewership, the second season of “Scandal” has been expanded from 13 to 22 episodes. In addition, Elise Neal, formerly of the sitcoms “The Hughleys” and “All of Us,” has joined the cast of the show as Anna Gordon, “an attorney with secrets.” Columbus Short, best known for his role as DJ Williams in the feature film “Stomp the Yard,” co-stars as litigator Harrison Wright, a member of Olivia’s staff.

The versatile Kerry Washington, a Bronx native and NAACP Image Award recipient, starred in the feature films “Lift” and “She Hate Me,” and was featured in “Save the Last Dance,” “Fantastic Four,” “Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” “Ray,” “For Colored Girls” and “Night Catches Us.” Her role as Olivia Pope is historic, given that she is the first Black woman in 38 years – since Diahann Carroll’s portrayal of “Julia” – to play the lead in a primetime television drama.

(Contact Philadelphia Tribune Entertainment Reporter Kimberly C. Roberts at (215) 893-5753 or

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