09/24/2014 05:11 pm ET Updated Sep 25, 2014

Ellen Pompeo, Viola Davis And Kerry Washington Are Just As Badass As Their Characters

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For the few who haven't heard, Shonda Rhimes is pretty damn awesome. She's a screenwriter/director, was named one of TIME's most influential people in 2013 and owns her own production company. And the actresses she employs are not far behind.

On Thursday, Sept. 25, Rhimes' "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" return to TV with her newest show "How To Get Away With Murder," premiering directly after. Thanks to Rhimes and her production company ShondaLand, these shows depict some of the fiercest female characters to ever grace our TV screens.

Viola Davis is finally getting in the spotlight she so deserves, starring as Professor Annalise Keating in "How To Get Away With Murder." Eleven seasons in and Ellen Pompeo is still killing it as the dramatic and smart Meredith Grey on "Grey's Anatomy." And Kerry Washington makes us want to suit up in our gladiator armor for "Scandal's" Olivia Pope.

Both "Grey's Anatomy" and "Scandal" boast two of the most diverse casts on television. Shonda has brought powerful female characters alive on-screen, who somehow manage to feel real amidst a whole lot of crazy.

What's even better is that the women who play these characters are articulate, intelligent and truly understand the influence their roles have on the white-washed, male-dominated television landscape.

As Olivia Pope often says, "It's time to change the narrative" -- and that's exactly what these three actresses are doing.

To celebrate the start of this year's Shonda night, we've rounded up eight times Ellen Pompeo, Kerry Washington and Viola Davis prove they are just as fierce and inspirational as the characters they play on television.

Proof The Actresses Of ShondaLand Are Just As Badass As The Characters They Play

We think it's safe to say Thursdays are the new Fridays.



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