Scandal fans were overjoyed when after many twists and turns in the political road, female presidential candidate Mellie Grant was finally sworn into office during season six, and ever since then they've been enjoying Madame President's trials and triumphs in the Oval Office — but viewers weren't always going to be so lucky.
In an interview on The Wendy Williams Show, Bellamy Young, who plays Mellie, said that series creator Shonda Rhimes originally intended for the show to end with Mellie's inauguration, which happened at the end of season six.
"We asked [Rhimes] at the beginning of the year. We went out to dinner and asked, ‘Is it ending like you always thought it would, or has anything changed?’ And she said that, no, it was going to end at the inauguration, so we got an extra year. It feels like such a gift from heaven," Young said.
Mellie's presidency is far from how Scandal viewers expected the show to end, especially since Young said her character had only "two lines in the pilot" back in 2012.
"I was supposed to be there maybe three episodes," she recalled. "Shonda knew she wanted to write a presidential divorce, but then she realized that Mellie was a good lever between Olivia and Fitz."
She added, “There are a lot of lady presidents on TV right now, but I feel very lucky to be a part of that wave…I know how much it meant to me to see Dennis Haysbert every week get to be president [on 24], and I feel like it means that much to me to see all these fabulous ladies get to be president on TV."
And if you thought the mood on set during Scandal's final season would be emotional, you're right.
"We cry a lot," Young said. "Every table read is so emotional. Every time we wrap an actor or a set, it’s like death by 1,000 goodbyes. It really is a family of love."