Kerry Washington believes 'Scandal's legacy will be to put more women of colour at the helm of TV series.

The 40-year-old actress has starred as political fixer Olivia Pope in the hit drama since 2012, with its seven and final season about to air this year, and she believes it will change television for the future.

She told the Los Angeles Times: ''I think the fact that in my lifetime there had not been a black woman at the lead of a television show and now everywhere you look, every single network has women of colour helming shows. I think that will be part of the legacy of the show.''

The 'Django Unchained' star also heaped praise on 'Scandal's creator Shonda Rhimes for putting characters of all ages and ethnicities at the forefront of the show.

She added: ''I think [it's] very true that Shonda and [casting director] Linda [Lowy] have really allowed for characters to have a lot of different races and ages and ethnicities. But I've been thinking about it a lot after Sterling K. Brown's speech at the Golden Globes - at the same time, Shonda was very specific from the beginning that Olivia Pope would be black because she was inspired by a real African American woman and she felt that her racial identity had real ramifications on the construction of her soul and she wanted those things to be connected.''

Joshua Malina, who plays US Attorney General David Rosen, also believes 'Scandal' should be credited with groundbreaking use of social media.

He said: ''The intersection of technology and TV will also be part of the legacy, because I think our live-tweeting the show was part of the life's blood of our early success, and I think we'll get an asterisk in the record book for being one of the first to do it.''