This fall Thursday on ABC belong to Shonda Rhimes again! The primetime block will be filled with Shondaland shows including "Grey's Anatomy," "How to Get Away with Murder" and everyones favorite political drama "Scandal." When "Scandal" returns this fall we expect to see a completely new direction for the storyline and our favorite characters. In this article we'll discuss everything we know regarding season five of the hit-series including casting news, leaks, interviews and much more. This article will contain spoilers regarding season 4, continue reading at your own risk. 

1. The first important bit of information is the release date! Early this year it was announced "Scandal" had been renewed for a new season and that it would premiere Thursday Sept. 24 at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. So mark your calendars and get ready for more Olivia Pope and gladitors.

2. There are a few character promotions for season five. It had previously been reported that Portia de Rossi was upgraded from recurring character to series regular. Now Rhimes is bringing back another recurring character as a regular. Cornelius Smith Jr., who plays activist Marcus Walker, will return for season five TVLine reports.

3. As for the main cast as of now we should expect the return of Kerry Washington (Olivia), Darby Stanchfield (Abby), Katie Lowes (Quinn), Guillermo Diaz (Huck), Jeff Perry (Cyrus), Tony Goldwyn (Fitz), Joshua Malina (David Rosen) and Bellamy Young (Mellie).

4. One name is still up in the air and that's Scott Foley who plays B613 operative and sometime boyfriend to Olivia, Jake Ballard. According to Celeb Dirty Laundry Foley will most likely not return as he and the shows star Kerry Washington have a real life ongoing feud. 

"Sources say Kerry Washington's tense relationship with on-screen boyfriend Scott Foley is what got his character riddled with stab wounds on the season finale," a source reportedly told Star Magazine. "While Scott has assured fans that he will be back next season, he also has hinted that Shonda Rhimes said the end is near."

"Kerry is a very take-charge gal, but Scott is a veteran actor with his own opinions, and many of them rubbed Kerry the wrong way. Scott knows that Kerry is tight with Shonda, so he sees the writing on the wall. He wouldn't be surprised if he got killed off early this fall."

5. A new gladiator will join the ranks! When the fifth season was announced Shonda also revealed that there will be a new gladiator added to the mix. Rhimes stated that this person will be someone we have seen before. Could it be a gladiator from the past like Stephen Finch (Henry Ian Cusick) or perhaps someone Liv already worked with like Josie Marcus (Lisa Kudrow)?

6. Bellamy Young teases Mellie's next move in a recent interview with Hollywood Life. The actress shared in a podcast about what she expects to see from Mellie in the new season, as well as her overall hopes for the tough lady.

“I can’t imagine her saying, ‘well I accept,'” Bellamy said about whether she believes Mellie will fight back in the new season. As far as the rest of Mellie’s life, Bellamy wants only the fiercest for her. “I hope ultimately that Mellie is president and Fitz is by her side and he loves her so much again and they’ve weathered that Olivia storm, and now they’re together and it’s happiness,” Bellamy said.

Check out the full audio below: 

7. Joe Morton recently revealed in an interview with Deadline that he doesn't really know much about what will happen to his character because everything will depend on series creator. 

"I haven't the faintest idea. I mean, we don't know. Shonda Rhimes doesn't let us know until we actually sit down at a table read," he said.

However, even though Morton doesn't know much about the future of his character, the actor still weighed in on whether or not he thinks Rowan will be able to get out of prison.

"On the surface, it looks like a given who Rowan/Eli is, to be in jail for extortion or for embezzlement seems like something that might be easy for him to get out of but we'll see. Who knows what will come out of the mind of Shonda Rhimes," he said.