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Shonda Rhimes: Don't look for Donald Trump in 'Scandal'

Associated Press logo Associated Press 1/10/2017 By DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer
Kerry Washington speaks at the "Scandal" panel at the Disney/ABC portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Kerry Washington speaks at the "Scandal" panel at the Disney/ABC portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP)

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — There's the world of Trump and the world of "Scandal." Don't go looking for similarities between the two, because the ABC show's creator certainly isn't.

Tony Goldwyn speaks at the "Scandal" panel at the Disney/ABC portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Tony Goldwyn speaks at the "Scandal" panel at the Disney/ABC portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP)

The series returns to ABC's lineup on Jan. 26 with its own election, early episodes that were filmed before the world learned the results of the real-world contest between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Bellamy Young speaks at the "Scandal" panel at the Disney/ABC portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Bellamy Young speaks at the "Scandal" panel at the Disney/ABC portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP)

"I don't really equate the two," said "Scandal" executive producer Shonda Rhimes on Tuesday. "That's not really the goal. If it was the goal, we would have waited until after the election" to film new episodes.

Kerry Washington attends the "Scandal" panel at the Disney/ABC portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP) © The Associated Press Kerry Washington attends the "Scandal" panel at the Disney/ABC portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association press tour on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2017, in Pasadena, Calif. (Photo by Rich Fury/Invision/AP)

The show is beginning its sixth season, and ABC can use the ratings boost. The season was shortened from 22 to 16 episodes to accommodate star Kerry Washington's pregnancy, and Rhimes said being able to concentrate on fewer programs sharpened the storytelling.

Washington gave birth to her second child, a boy named Caleb Kelechi, on Oct. 5.

Even though she was obviously busy, Washington said she and the show's other stars sought each other out to talk about what happened on election night.

"Over the years, these are the people I've become closest to in many ways," she said. "It was strange to have to find each other on hiatus, to kind of check with each other and process it."

Rhimes batted away political questions during a meeting with reporters, including one about Meryl Streep's Golden Globes speech. She said she had no problem with ABC postponing the show's debut for a week for the network to air a pre-inauguration special.

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