Scandal is an American political thriller television series starring Kerry Washington. Created by Shonda Rhimes, it debuted on ABC on April 5, 2012. Kerry Washington's character, Olivia Pope, is partially based on former George H.W. Bush administration press aide Judy Smith, who serves as a co-executive producer. The show takes place in Washington, D.C. and focuses on Olivia Pope's crisis management firm, Olivia Pope & Associates, and its staff, as well as staff at the White House, which includes President Fitzgerald Grant III, Chief of Staff Cyrus Beene, and First Lady Mellie Grant.