Dec. 6 (UPI) -- ABC has reduced the season order for its runaway Thursday night drama, Scandal, bringing the total number of episodes down to 18 from 22.
While the Alphabet Network did not offer an explanation, the decision is likely a response to very good news, rather than the bad news that usually portends networks cutting episodes from their shows.
Scandal star Kerry Washington is expecting her first child with her husband Nnamdi Asomugha in the spring, and a growing baby bump does not jive with her character's penchant for chic and stylish clothes.
The show's costumers have been doing their best to hide Washington's expanding waistline under increasingly blouson coats, but even Olivia Pope can't hide a belly forever.
Scandal has been enjoying huge success in its third season, increasing viewership by 57 percent in the coveted 18-49 demo over last year's gasp-worthy Season 2, making it the fastest-growing returning series.
Just one more episode is scheduled to air this fall -- next Thursday -- and the show will return for the back half of Season 3 on February 27.