After a long hiatus due to star Kerry Washington‘s pregnancy, Scandal will return for season 6 with a bang on Thursday, January 19, just in time for a new president to take office. The show will skip over the presidential campaign between Mellie Grant and Francisco Vargas (probably for the best since I’m not sure we can take any more after 2016), and the premiere will be set on election night.

All we know about the premiere, titled “Survival of the Fittest,” is that the results will be announced leading to a shocking and explosive outcome. With Scandal, the word “explosive” can probably be taken literally.

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In this first group of photos from the episode, we see Mellie’s team waiting for the results on election night. Olivia Pope and friends are in attendance, though sadly Abby is standing in front of the TV showing the electoral map, so we can’t learn who won. We also see Quinn with Charlie and vice presidential candidate Jake Ballard with his new wife Vanessa (who is now being played by Jessalyn Gilsig instead of Joelle Carter).

In this second batch of photos, Fitz is still president and there seems to be a situation for him to deal with alongside his NSA director, Jake. We also see Fitz staring out of his window in the Oval Office as his presidency comes to an end and another meeting with Olivia.

Scandal season 6 premieres Thursday, January 19 at 9/8c on ABC.

(Images courtesy of ABC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.