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Shonda Rhimes: “Calling a show a ‘guilty pleasure’ — it’s like saying it’s a piece of crap”

Shonda Rhimes, the creator of ABC's "Grey's Anatomy," "Scandal" and the recently ended "Private Practice," is one of the most prolific and powerful creative forces working in network television. (Only Chuck Lorre, who has three sitcoms on CBS, has as many series on the air.) In its ninth season, "Grey's" remains one of the most highly rated dramas on television. In its second, "Scandal" has hit its bonkers creative stride. This season the series, about political fixer Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington) having an affair with the president, has staged an assassination attempt and exposed the vote-rigging plot that got the president elected in the first place. It is simultaneously ultra-cynical and overly romantic, and week in and week out, the ballsiest show on television (and by far the most fun to talk about). Rhimes spoke with me about why everyone keeps insisting Olivia Pope is a good guy, how much she hates it when people call "Scandal" a guilty pleasure, and her bafflement by the lack of racial diversity on TV in 2013.

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