Shonda Rhimes Is 'In Denial' About 'Scandal' Ending, Says There's 'Been a Lot of Tears' on Set (Exclusive)


Shonda Rhimes isn't ready for Scandal to end. 

ET's Nischelle Turner spoke with the showrunner as she was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in Los Angeles on Wednesday night, where she reflected on her career and seven seasons of Scandal. 

"I always said, 'I'm going to take over the world through television,' and that sounded fun, but I thought I was just going to be writing shows and enjoying myself and hopefully somebody would watch them," Rhimes confessed. "I don't think I ever dreamed of this." 

"I feel so lucky that I've gotten to work with so many amazing people and that we form such great bonds that have lasted so long," she added, before dishing on Scandal's final episodes -- and whether Olivia Pope can come back from the dark side that is B613.

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"What's wonderful about this season is that Kerry [Washington] is throwing herself into it, we're throwing ourselves into it, the writers are going crazy and the cast is really in it," she shared. "It's our last season. We're telling all the story we want to tell. Where she'll end up, I'm not going to tell you that, but I do think this is a journey for her and we're going to the place I've always wanted her to go."

"There is a lot of nostalgia. There's been a lot of tears at certain points, and at other points, it's just been a lot of joy," she said. "There is a sense that everything is the last time, so you hold onto it, but I also think I'm in denial about a lot of it, so I just try to pretend it's going to keep going."

Rhimes will also be "holding onto" something from set once the show concludes -- Mellie's Oval Office rug -- which Bellamy Young also has her eye on.

"Where are you going to put it? That's the thing. It's a giant rug," Rhimes reasoned. "I chose the quotes that are going on the outside of it, and it's really quite beautiful and it's... the first woman president evocative for me, but it's a really big rug. There's not a lot of places it can go, so I think it's probably going to end up in storage somewhere. Maybe she'll take half and I'll take half."

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As Rhimes negotiates prop ownership with the Scandal cast, she's already settling into her new digs at Netflix. 

"We already started working there, so I'm very excited about what comes next, but I don't know if we're going to see familiar faces," she revealed. "I think so, though."

The writer-producer was surrounded by familiar faces on the red carpet, however, including her daughters -- because "they make me who I am." 

"I have my oldest daughter here with me on the carpet, but my 4-year-old and 5-year-old are here as well," Rhimes gushed. "I brought them because I want them to know they were here in this moment and they saw it, but also because they were a part of this. I never would have had this career. I never would be this kind of writer or person without them in my lives."

See more on Rhimes in the video below.