ABC's Scandal is one of those TV shows that puts politics, corruption and lingering threats to U.S. security - oh, and a scandalous love affair - into a realistic, but fictional, narrative. But what you might not know about the drama - starring the lovely Kerry Washington, who plays crisis expert Olivia Pope - is that it's inspired by some pretty accurate accounts. Enter Judy Smith, the real-life muse behind the show's vivid depictions.
Smith has worked in public service, crisis management and government, assisting former president George H.W. Bush. The idea for the popular political thriller, gleaned from Smith's background, came about after a scheduled 30-minute meeting between Grey's Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes and Smith lasted three hours.
Scandal, now three seasons in with a spring premiere slated for Feb. 27, is still running strong with accolades that include 2013's Primetime Emmy Award.
Smith takes some time away from her role as co-executive producer and adviser for the show this week when she makes a stop at UNC Charlotte. Her latest book, 2012's Good Self, Bad Self: Transforming Your Worst Qualities into Your Biggest Assets is a self-help page turner that details advice related to changing one's image through approaches from crisis management experiences. During her visit, she'll sign copies of the book and give a lecture titled, "Surviving and Thriving in an Era of Perpetual Crisis."
Free admission. Jan. 28, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. UNC Charlotte (Held in the Cone Center's McKnight Hall), 9201 University City Blvd.