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Ok, Scandal fans, there’s bad news. Scandal’s third season is going to be a bit shorter than expected. ABC has reportedly cut the episode order from the planned 22 episodes to 18. On the brighter side, speculation is that the reason behind this move has to do with Kerry Washington’s pregnancy, as opposed to ABC wanting less of the show.
The Wrap reported the news, stating that ABC has reduced Scandal’s order from 22 episodes to 18. The rep that confirmed this news to them wouldn’t explain the reason behind the decision, however The Wrap says there’s speculation that Washington’s pregnancy, which was announced earlier this fall, may be the reason behind the episode cut. Word is, the series won’t be writing the pregnancy into the show, which I think is a good thing. Don’t get me wrong, it would kind of chaotic-amazing if Olivia got pregnant — especially if it was the President’s child — but not yet. If that’s even a consideration for a future plot, I’m thinking they’d probably want to hold it for later in the series.
In the meantime, assuming the speculation is true, it makes sense and it’s not really a bad thing, especially considering the alternative, which would be that ABC is cutting the order because the show is in trouble. That would be a surprise though, considering the ratings. While Scandal isn’t raking in NCIS-level numbers, it’s been holding steady in the 9 million viewer range, which is solid for an ABC drama. For comparison’s sake, the series has been averaging a bit higher than Grey’s Anatomy this season. Grey’s’ November 21 episode took in 8.61 million viewers, while Scandal, which airs immediately after the medical drama, earned 8.93 million that week. For further reference, Once Upon a Time’s recent episodes have brought in somewhere in the ballpark of 6.6 million viewers. It’s between five and six million for the current season of Revenge. And Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been hovering in the 7 million viewer range, though the last new episode (“Repairs”) broke 9 million. In terms of dramas, Scandal's on the higher end for ABC, so regardless of whether or not Washington’s pregnancy is a major factor in this decision, it doesn’t seem likely that the show is in trouble in terms of how ABC’s prioritizing it.
In other Scandal news, TVLine reports that The Closer’s Jon Tenney has been cast in a recurring role in the ABC’s drama, and will appear during the third season’s final eight-episode stretch. Rumor has it, he’s a love interest for Mellie. Sure, Mellie has a husband, but when it comes to romance, the First Lady’s life is definitely lacking.
Scandal wraps up the first half of its third season next Thursday night, and then we’ll have to wait until February for the series to return for the remaining episodes. Read our breakdown of last night’s “YOLO” here!
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