'Scandal' to Feature a Donald Trump Inspired Character - Plus, When Will the Series End?!


Things are about to get even more scandalous on Scandal!

The smash ABC drama was honored at the 2016 PaleyFest celebration in Los Angeles on Tuesday night, and audience members -- including Entertainment Tonight! -- were gifted with a special sneak peek of this week's all-new episode.

Although we're not going to spoil the jaw-dropping details, we will reveal that a familiar face will be returning to join Scandal's fictional race to the White House -- and he's most definitely going to remind viewers of current presidential hopeful, Donald Trump.

MORE: Kerry Washington Says Playing Olivia Pope 'Made Me Feel Like I Could Be a Mom'

"There might be parallels coming,” Bellamy Young – a.k.a. everyone's favorite former First Lady, Mellie Grant -- said with a laugh on the show’s panel at the Dolby Theater.

When asked how the current political climate has influenced the Scandal writers this season, showrunner Shonda Rhimes revealed that she’s actually had to change some of the show's storylines after watching the real-life debates.

"We did have some moments where I would run back to the writers room and I would say, ‘Hey there’s some dialogue that we need to cross out because it kind of already happened,'" Rhimes admitted.

Looking ahead, it's clear that Scandal is going to relish having such an outspoken, Trump-inspired candidate – as well as a former First Lady with White House aspirations of her own -- in their own political debates. "If you think the debates you've seen in the real world are fun …" star Kerry Washington teased of what's to come.

"The election right now is its own thing. You can't make that stuff up," Rhimes added

WATCH: Kerry Washington Reveals Why She Won't Post Pictures of Her Daughter

, which was recently renewed for a sixth season, continues to be a social media and ratings juggernaut for ABC -- but how many seasons can we expect from the political-inspired soap?

Rhimes was especially tight-lipped with her response saying, "We know where it ends and when it ends."

Regardless of when Scandal will come to a close, Rhimes stressed that the series will always focus on Olivia Pope's personal growth -- and not just her love life.

MORE: Hillary Clinton Visits Scandal   Set, Pals Around With TV President Tony Goldwyn

"Olivia is on a journey," Rhimes said. "Olivia’s been on a journey since we started. It’s interesting to me that her primary story is a romance. That’s what you’ve seen. To me, her primary story has been discovery of herself."

The EP continued, "For Olivia, the breaking free of that, while painful, was the first step toward realizing that she was not who she was meant to be. Her father has been saying that, and while he represents evil to a lot of you, he also represents truth."

airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.

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