Our Pledge To You

Shonda Rhimes: Don’t look for Donald Trump in ‘Scandal’

Producer Shonda Rhimes attends Glamour Women Of The Year 2016 at NeueHouse Hollywood on November 14, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. | Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images

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.

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.

“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.

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.

Actors Joshua Malina (from left), Darby Stanchfield, and Joe Morton, Executive Producer Betsy Beers, actors Cornelius Smith Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Kerry Washington, Bellamy Young, and Scott Foley, and Creator/Executive Producer Shonda Rhimes of the television show 'Scandal' speak onstage during the Disney-ABC portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at Langham Hotel on January 10, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Actors Joshua Malina (from left), Darby Stanchfield, and Joe Morton, Executive Producer Betsy Beers, actors Cornelius Smith Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Kerry Washington, Bellamy Young, and Scott Foley, and Creator/Executive Producer Shonda Rhimes of the television show ‘Scandal’ speak onstage during the Disney-ABC portion of the 2017 Winter Television Critics Association Press Tour at Langham Hotel on January 10, 2017 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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.

DAVID BAUDER, AP Television Writer