One of the most influential showrunners in history, Shonda Rhimes broke ground last spring with her new hit, "Scandal," the first network drama in 40 years to star an African-American woman. But the allure isn't ethnicity, it's the freshness of a black woman being represented in a storyline for who she is.
The season finale of the political thriller drew 9.1 million viewers and the show is highly socially active. Olivia Pope, played by Kerry Washington, is a complex character who's not above the scandals and lies she tries to fix. Ms. Rhimes' TV series have a history of featuring diverse casts and interracial relationships. Case in point: "Grey's Anatomy," which is entering its 10th season in the fall, a rare milestone these days.