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Scott D. Pierce
Scott D. Pierce writes about television for the Salt Lake Tribune. Vice president of the Television Critics Associationn, he's covered TV in Utah since 1990.

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ABC's "Scandal" stars Henry Ian Cusick as Stephen Finch, Katie Lowes as Quinn Perkins, Guillermo Diaz as Huck, Kerry Washington as Olivia Pope, Columbus Short as Harrison Wright, Darby Stanchfield as Abby Whelan, Jeff Perry as Cyrus Beene and Tony Goldwyn as President Fitzgerald Grant. Courtesy ABC | CRAIG SJODIN
Thursday on TV: ABC's "Scandal" is ludicrous

Scandal (9 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4) is, in a word, ludicrous. Overwrought to the point of being ridiculous.

This soap from creator/executive producer Shonda Rhimes ("Grey's Anatomy," "Private Practice") centers on Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), a former White House communications director who runs her own crisis-management team. She says things like, "My gut tells me everything I need to know," and she's crazy self-righteous.

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When she's not outwitting Russian mobsters and figuring out the secret in a Supreme Court nominee's past that he doesn't know himself - using her almost-magical powers - she's in the middle of a brewing scandal involving her former boss, the president of the United States (Tony Goldwyn).

If you like "Grey's Anatomy," you might like "Scandal." But only if you completely disregard common sense.

Elsewhere on TV ...

The Big Bang Theory (7 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): Wolowitz works with Stephen Hawking, and Sheldon is determined to meet the scientist.

Missing (7 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): Michael is warned what would happen if he tries to escape.

Community (7 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): A disagreement about pillows and blankets turns into a war on campus.

Independent Lens (7 p.m., PBS/Ch. 7): "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey" goes behind the "Sesame Street" scenes with Kevin Clash, the man behind the popular Muppet.

American Idol (7 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): Another hopeful is voted off.

30 Rock (7:30 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Kenneth helps Jenna plot revenge.

Person of Interest (8 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): The machine names the dons of New York's crime families.

Grey's Anatomy (8 p.m., ABC/Ch. 4): There's a lion on the loose in Seattle.

Touch (8 p.m., Fox/Ch. 13): Martin happens upon a man who had a history with his late wife.

Up All Night (8:30 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): Chris is jealous when Reagan spends more time working with Luke.

The Mentalist (9 p.m., CBS/Ch. 2): A popular teacher is murdered.

Awake (9 p.m., NBC/Ch. 5): There's a hostage situation.

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