"Scandal" is about to air its 100th episode on ABC on Thursday, April 13. The cast has already celebrated this milestone in the life of the series. Shonda Rhimes series debuted on April 5, 2012, with Kerry Washington in the lead role as Olivia Pope. Even die-hard fans might not know that Washington was not the first choice for the role as the crisis manager.

It was reported that producers wanted former "Nashville" star Connie Britton for the role of Olivia Pope. Rhimes, the creator of the series, and her team stepped in and insisted on a black actress. The role was meant for Kerry Washington because thousands of other women auditioned for the part, including 45-year-old Jill Scott and 47-year-old Anika Noni Rose who are black actresses.

Everybody was pleased with Washington audition and as they say, "The rest is history." Rhimes said Kerry was born to play Olivia Pope.

After 99 episodes, no one is complaining that it was Washington who landed the role. Rhimes wanted to break barriers because there had not been a black actress in a leading role on television in 37 years. Besides, Rhimes wanted to stay true to Judy Smith, 58, former President George H.W. Bush's crisis management expert who is black.

100th episode

The sixth season ended with the 99th episode, so it is significant that the seventh season will start with the 100th episode. The show reportedly will have segments going back to the very beginning of the series with a twist. It will be similar to what "Grey's Anatomy" did in its eighth season.

The 100th episode is titled "The Decision." The characters will ask, "What if?" as they begin to sort things out as they wonder what if they had done things differently during the 99 previous episodes.

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Ratings

When "scandal" debuted in its first season, there were 8.21 million viewers. By the fourth season, viewers had increased to 12.66 million. As the producers and officials go into the 100th episode, they are hoping those viewers will return, and the show will pick up new viewers.

No one knows how many more episodes will follow the 100th one, but Rhimes' other shows clocked more than 100 episodes. For instance, "Private Practice" had 111 episodes, and "Grey's Anatomy" is coming close to its 300th show. After 13 seasons, it has aired 288 episodes. Of course, that medical drama started on March 27, 2005.

Make sure you watch the 100th episode of "Scandal" when it returns to ABC on Thursday, April 13 at 9 p.m.