'Scandal' Season 3 order reduced to 18 episodes

scandal-season-3-episode-order-abc.jpgGet ready for some bad news, Gladiators: There's going to be less of Season 3 of "Scandal" than originally planned.

ABC had reduced the order for their red-hot Shonda Rhimes drama from 22 to 18 episodes, Zap2it can confirm. The network hadn't given a reason for the cutback, but it's safe to assume it's not because the show is in any danger of cancellation.

Though she hasn't confirmed it, "Scandal" star Kerry Washington is reportedly pregnant. Considering that the show revolves around Olivia Pope, it wouldn't be entirely easy to trim Washington's workload without shedding some episodes altogether.

The news comes the morning after a jaw-dropping episode on Thursday (Dec. 5) that saw the series move ahead of NBC's "The Blacklist" to become the season's No. 1 broadcast drama in the key 18-49 demo.

"Scandal" airs its fall finale Thursday, Dec. 12 at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.
Photo/Video credit: ABC
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