ABC has reduced the number of episodes of “Scandal” this season from its originally planned order.
The Shonda Rhimes-produced drama will only get 18 episodes instead of the originally planned 22. While ABC wouldn’t disclose a reason for its decision, it is suspected that the show is having a harder time shooting around Kerry Washington’s pregnancy.
Washington plays the lead character Olivia Pope on “Scandal” and according to Deadline, its getting difficult hiding her belly bump in loose-fitting clothes.
Rating are not an issue for “Scandal,” as the show is up 50% in total viewers (12.6 million) from last year. The show has also seen a 57% increase in adults ages 18-49.
In addition to its regular viewers on ABC, “Scandal” has benefited from a second airing that started on BET this past summer.
After “Scandal” goes on hiatus in December, it will not return with new episodes until late February.