Up considerably in its year-over-year ratings and less than twenty four hours removed from a six-week high, “Scandal” should be in glowing standing with ABC brass.
As such, news that the show’s season three order has been reduced from twenty two to eighteen episodes could not possibly involve the negative context typical of such an announcement.
What that specific context is remains unclear–at least as far as ABC is concerned. The network would only formally confirm that the order for season three has been trimmed by four episodes.
Those familiar with the show and its cast, however, can surmise the very likely stimulus: star Kerry Washington’s pregnancy. Though the notoriously private Washington has kept the lid on her upcoming entry into motherhood, her pregnancy is soon to become visibly obvious.
Given the nature of Washington’s Olivia Pope character and role on the show, a baby bump would have more ramifications for “Scandal” than it does other shows.
Known for her elegant fashion, Pope is neither the kind of character that could be captured exclusively from the neck up nor the kind of character to start wearing loose clothing.
And as the clear star of the series, Washington typically appears in the majority of its scenes–greatly reducing her presence would not be workable.
In addition to omitting an official reason for the reduced order, ABC also refrained from specifying how the season three “Scandal” broadcast schedule will change as a result.