Kerry Washington

*Kerry Washington has been cast as the lead in Shonda Rhimes’ new pilot “Damage Control,” which is based on the work of veteran crisis management consultant Judy Smith.

Washington will play Olivia Price, a professional fixer described as a formidable and fearless woman. The show will follow her life as well as the lives of her dysfunctional staff members.

Actor-choreographer Columbus Short (“Stomp the Yard’) has been cast as a lawyer on Price’s team.

Jeff Perry, Henry Ian Cusick, Katie Lowes and Guillermo Diaz also star.

Rhimes wrote the pilot and executive produces with her “Grey’s Anatomy” partner Betsy Beers.

Judy Smith with Monica Lewinsky

Smith, who serves as the show’s co-executive producer, has guided numerous corporations, politicians, celebrities and public figures through crises and scandals over the past 20 years, including PR fiascos surrounding Monica Lewinsky, Michael Vick, Marion Barry, ENRON and Larry Craig.