Depending on how you look at it, the news of ABC cutting down the number of episodes in Scandel’s third season could be seen as, well, a scandal. But, unlike other episode reductions, ABC has a very good reason for delivering less Scandal than fans would prefer. Though it hasn’t been expressly stated by anyone from ABC, I think it’s very obvious star Kerry Washington’s real life pregnancy is what influenced the decision. It shows a softer side to the usually brutal broadcast networks; they don’t want to force work out of someone when they’re expecting a newborn baby. That just wouldn’t be good business.
TVLine reported the shortened episode order, which is taking Season 3 down from 22 episodes to 18. Washington’s baby is due in the spring, which would make shooting the final episodes of the season nearly impossible given the size of her belly and impending baby. Shooting around her baby bump is hard enough as it is; there’s no need to push the realms of possibility. And the series didn’t want to incorporate the pregnancy into the narrative and writing Washington’s Olivia out of the show temporarily just wasn’t an option. Shortening the season is the only worthwhile option if we want this season to continue without any more troubles.
When Scandal returns from its winter break on Feb. 27, there will only be eight episodes left to air. Jon Tenney will be joining the cast in a recurring role during those eight episodes. He’ll be playing a love interest for Bellamy Young’s Mellie, according to TVLine. No exact details are available for his character, but he could be playing Andrew, a character described as a handsome and charismatic suitor for a main player. It is very possible Tenney will be this Andrew and it makes sense given his reported interest in Mellie. She is, after all, a main player.