‘Scandal’ Episode Order Reduced by ABC

'Scandal' Episode Order Reduced by ABC

ABC/Eric McCandless

The network will air 18 episodes instead of 22 of the Shonda Rhimes drama's third season

Sorry, Gladiators, there will be fewer episodes of “Scandal” than you all expected for Season 3.

ABC has reduced the drama's episode order from 22 to 18, a network representative told TheWrap. The rep declined to provide the reasoning behind the decision.

The news arrives just as the series readies to air its midseason finale next Thursday before going on hiatus until Midseason 2014.

Also read: ‘Low Winter Sun,’ ‘Scandal’ Stars to Join ‘The Following’ Season 2 (Exclusive)

There is speculation that star Kerry Washington‘s pregnancy influenced the decision. News of her pregnancy with husband, NFL player Nnamdi Asomugha, surfaced in late-October. Notoriously private about her personal life, Washington hasn't disclosed how far along her pregnancy is.

Reportedly, ABC had no plans on writing in a pregnancy for Washington's character, D.C. political fixer Olivia Pope, this season.

Also read: ‘Saturday Night Live': Kerry Washington Is Every Black Woman (Video)

Going into next week's season finale, (Spoiler alert!) Olivia had just realized that her mother (Khandi Alexander) is actually a terrorist and her father, black ops boss Rowan (Joe Morton), had been protecting her. He imprisoned her mother for the past two decades under the guise that she had died. Before realizing that, Olivia used her connections to help her mother escape authorities and leave the country.

Clearly, there must be some mitigating factor that would force ABC's to cut episodes as the Shonda Rhimes series is one of their most popular. It routinely earns a 3 rating in the advertiser-coveted 18-49 demographic and close to 9 million total viewers tuning in each week.

  • Lela Blanson

    Why would ABC do something soooo stupid ????

  • David Perkins

    Aw, c'mon! Are we Gladiators or are we pregnant?

  • disappointed

    this pregnancy was unexpected I understand but when you have a show like this and the fire is hot you can't let your viewers wait to long cause they will forget about you regardless of how good your show is we will move on to the next big thing.you are so arrogant if you think that you are so HOT that you can hold someone attention like that.when you do come back on I hope you respect your viewers a little better we will look to see what happens next but you took something away that you can't get back (and that is some of your audience).

    • EloiseM

      Scandals’ FANS will wait…..wait…and wait until the show returns after this winter hiatus. Everyone knows you can't FIX things in the matter they should be fixed with a PREGNANT star. I'm also sure that the conclusion is going to be so fantastic that we will PATIENTLY wait until it returns in the fall. Until then I will order the third season on DVD. And gleefully watch seasons one, two and three over and over again. You know …..just like we do the God Father stories and the Law and Order televisions series. Just saying.