Ahead of Upfronts ABC announced the 2017-2018 schedule, and officially released a statement that Scandal will officially say goodbye after season seven.

“Shonda has decided the series needs to come to a close,” said Channing Dungey, president of ABC Entertainment. “While this is definitely a bittersweet moment for all of us gladiators, I have no doubt what she has in store for the final season will be as powerful as what’s come before, and we will be sure to honor that every step of the way.”

Dungey said creator Shonda Rhimes decided to end the series so that Kerry Washington, Bellamy Young, Tony Goldwyn and the rest of the cast and crew could creatively go out on top.

“Scandal” was one of the key innovators that lead to Thursday night becoming Rhimes’ “Shondaland” on ABC, along with “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How to Get Away with Murder.”

The show, which features Washington as Pope, the Washington D.C. fixer, began in 2012 and has kept fans on the edge of their seats ever since. No characters are safe and nothing in the White House is ever simple.

Rhimes said she knows exactly how to end the iconic show.

“Deciding how to end a show is easy. But actually going through with it? Actually standing up to say: ‘This is it?’ Not so much,” she said.

“So, next year we are going all out. Leaving nothing on the table,” Rhimes continued. “We are going to handle the end the way we like to handle the important things in our ‘Scandal’ family: all together, white hats on, gladiators running full speed over a cliff.”

“Scandal” will air its season six finale this coming Thursday night with the final season to start at a later date.

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