Scandal Stands in Bahamas Sun

NASSAU, The Bahamas -- The Bahamas is on the radar of one of television’s hottest producers for future projects, after he filmed scenes of one of the year’s highest rated shows in The Bahamas.

Millions of viewers saw picturesque beach scenes of The Bahamas as the popular show Scandal made its season premiere Thursday night on ABC.  The scenes were recorded at a Bahamas location weeks earlier.

Mark Wilding, the show’s executive producer, said The Bahamas was the perfect location for the start of the new Scandal season. In last season’s finale, protagonist Olivia Pope jetted off to an unknown location to start a new life with Jake Ballard.

“Essentially, she wanted to get as far away from civilization as possible,” said Mark Wilding, who is also head writer on the show. “So we were looking for a place that was quite beautiful and was on the beach because she always talked about standing in the sun. Myself and a couple other producers looked at several spots, including Hawaii and Panama and Mexico, and we decided on Nassau in The Bahamas because it is gorgeous. You have the most gorgeous turquoise waters I’ve ever seen and lovely beaches.”

In addition, The Bahamas’ capitol was easy to reach, just a five-hour flight from Los Angeles. The fact that there were trained Bahamians who could make up the crew on set was also a draw, Wilding said.

“All of that served to make it an ideal spot to come,” he said.

The experience has left Wilding open to filming future projects in The Bahamas.

“Right now in Scandal, we know we want to come back when we want to do a beach scene,” said the producer, who won an Emmy for his work on Grey’s Anatomy. “It’s just a different looking beach from Malibu because we could shoot in Malibu or Santa Monica or one of the places there. But this really feels like you’re in a very exotic locale. So for us, yeah, we’d love to come back here.”

The Scandal shoot was one of the productions facilitated by the Bahamas Film & Television Commission, a unit of the Ministry of Tourism.