How a PR Maven Turned Scandal into a Television Success

Crisis consultant Judy Smith helps shape the twists and turns of ABC's hit drama.

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Scandal's Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), who is inspired by real-life crisis manager Judy Smith.

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"Everybody has crises and issues and problems that come up, and it really isn't different from those high-profile folk than us everyday folks. …The saying is that the cover-up is far worse than the crime, and that's very true. ... You can't run from it."

But you can watch it.

Scandal premieres Thursday, September 27 at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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  • Tierney Sneed is associate editor of U.S. News Opinion. E-mail her at tsneed@usnews.com and follow her on Twitter.