'Scandal' Promotes Joe Morton to Series Regular (Exclusive)

Joe Morton Creative Arts Emmys 2 - H 2014
Associated Press

Scandal is keeping one of its biggest onscreen foes close.

The ABC political soap from Shonda Rhimes has promoted Joe Morton to series regular, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Morton's shady and mysterious Rowan (aka Eli Pope) first appeared during season two and, in the shocking finale, was revealed to be Olivia's (Kerry Washington) father. The Broadway alum and former Tony nominee has had a recurring guest role since season two and won an Emmy in 2014 for the part.

"Now I can cast some serious shade on a regular basis," Morton told THR.  

Scandal briefly lost Morton last year after he booked a series-regular role on TNT drama Proof and had a guest spot on Netflix's Grace and Frankie. He returned to Scandal after Proof was canceled following its freshman run.

Morton's Rowan is the primary antagonist on the show, with the character formerly having run black-ops group B613. Rowan, in the back half of season five, returned to the center of the action as Jake (Scott Foley) recently scored a gig as the head of the NSA — and working on the sly for his former B613 "father."

Morton becomes Scandal's newest series regular and joins Portia de Rossi, who portrays Elizabeth North and was promoted at the end of season four; and Cornelius Smith Jr., who guest starred last season as Marcus Walker and was brought in to be the show's newest Gladiator at Olivia Pope & Associates.

Morton, whose credits include the film Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Syfy series Eureka, is repped by TalentWorks, Vanguard Management and Del Shaw.

Scandal airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.