You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 10:27 a.m.

Ann Arbor - and - feature in plot of TV drama 'Scandal'

By Bob Needham


A shot from last week's episode of "Scandal"


The ABC-TV drama "Scandal" last week had an Ann Arbor angle—and even briefly showed a fictitious version of

The show follows unfolding, overlapping plot lines about crises in Washington, D.C., with characters who are politicians, journalists and the like.

Last week's episode opens with a scene in which a man kills himself on a quiet public street after mailing a large envelope. A few minutes into the show, the envelope—containing a musical score and a check—comes to one of the show's lead characters, Olivia (Kerry Washington), and it's quickly recognized as a coded message.

"The postmark on the envelope reads Ann Arbor," one character notes. Then another pulls up a news story about the suicide on a website that bears a remarkable resemblance to the one you're looking at now, acorn logo and all. (It's hard to be sure, but it looks like they trimmed the ".com" off our name in the logo.) The byline on the story is credited to "Ann Arbor News" and the writer "Caroline Miller."

The suicide victim turns out to be someone known to one of the characters, and off the plot goes from there.

I haven't watched the show myself before this; the local angles were caught by alert reader Katie Glupker.

The entire episode can be seen on ABC's website. The episode opens with the suicide scene—note that it's somewhat graphic. The Ann Arbor references come about 7 minutes in.

It's not the first time Ann Arbor has figured in network TV dramas; ABC's "Lost" had deep ties to Ann Arbor, and on "House," one episode mentioned that both House and Cuddy were University of Michigan alums.

"Scandal" airs at 10 p.m. Thursdays on ABC.

Bob Needham is director of entertainment content for Reach him at or 734-623-2541, and follow him on Twitter @bobneedham.


Paula Gardner

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 8:53 p.m.

I wonder how many comments the faux story got.

Elaine F. Owsley

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

Must be a UM grad in the workings of the show somewhere.


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 8:37 p.m.

Copyright infringement... Can they copy a blog?

Kyle Mattson

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 7:02 p.m.

There's probably a bit of legal fuzziness here A2C, but considering its brevity we're not that concerned.

Ron Granger

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 7:43 p.m.

I didn't see the show. Did the character kill himself by trying to cross Plymouth road at a marked crosswalk?


Tue, Nov 20, 2012 : 1:07 a.m.

No, that was Ann Arbor Saline Road near Oak Valley. Very dangerous to cross.


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 8:36 p.m.

Well done...

Bob Needham

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 7:09 p.m.

I have to say, this show really wasn't on my radar, but it looks pretty good. Anyone been following it?


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 8:35 p.m.

It's not bad. Fast-paced.

Julie Baker

Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 7:17 p.m.

I watch it! I'm a few episodes behind, though, so I'm not reading this story. Spoiler alert! :)


Mon, Nov 19, 2012 : 6:19 p.m.