Scandal Season 6 Episode Order Cut

Scandal will be popping out fewer episodes next season.

In the wake of news that leading lady Kerry Washington is expecting her second child, ABC has trimmed the show’s Season 6 episode order from 22  to 16, TVLine has learned exclusively.

As we reported earlier today, one option the network is mulling has the #TGIT staple sitting out the fall and returning at midseason with an uninterrupted 16-episode run. An ABC rep declined to comment.

During Washington’s first pregnancy two years ago, ABC similarly reduced the show’s episode order (from 22 to 18).

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  1. Matt C. says:

    I wonder if this increases The Catch’s chance of renewal? They could air 10 episodes of it in the fall and then replace it with Scandal at midseason. Or one of the other Shondaland pilots in development.

  2. Why can’t they film around her pregnancy as so many other shows do when their female stars become with child. Doesn’t seem fair to other actors and crew to cut their income because of it.

    • Carol says:

      The other actors and crew would have no show if not for Kerry Washington who busted her butt to save the show from season 1. She has earned some time off to have her baby safely which is likely her last one at her age.

    • David4 says:

      Because she is the show.

      It might as well be called “Pope”.

    • Lee says:

      They could.
      If she’s showing now, she’ll be due by fall anyway and they could probably do some more filming now, write a plot that limits her physical movement for a couple of episodes and work around it, and they would if the ratings were still strong.
      After all, this show has aired episodes where Olivia had less than fifteen minutes of screen time.
      IMO, this is just a convenient cover up for a reduced budget and reduced order as a result of lower ratings.

      • David4 says:

        You are insane. The show is still one of ABC’s highest ratings and they did the same thing in season 3 before any ratings drop.

        • Bigdede says:

          No it’s not

          • David4 says:

            Really? Is the Earth also flat?

            There are these things called facts, just because you don’t believe in them doesn’t make them less true. The ratings (like for all shows) are down but Scandal is still the top show in it’s timeslot and still in the to three shows on the network in both the demo and total audience. The ratings used to be huge so the 20-25% drop still makes it a top ABC show only behind Grey’s and Modern Family.

        • Ali Hamm says:

          The show is the writers venue for pushing her political agenda all while saying it’s all about Kerry…..I quit watching a long time ago when her political agenda became bigger than the show. People try and deny that because it is a really good show but shonda just cannot resist injecting the left wing political agenda and a few others I don’t need to be reminded about.

          • MiaB says:

            So this is your way of saying that you don’t watch the show, but the fact that they have the nerve to say something you disagree with incenses you so much you must come on here and say something about it. Have fun, doll.

        • Cheyenne says:

          The ratings are way down now from what they were in season 3. Plus KW said herself it was very difffficult shooting around her pregnancy the first time and she is not going to do that again. Not to mention how
          fake it looked.

      • Cathy says:

        I don’t think she got pregnant because of that. Not everything is a conspiracy.

      • Fan24PA says:

        Because that’s not how contracts work.

    • Dude says:

      As someone who works in television, let me tell you. Even the assistants get paid more than handsomely. The cast and crew will manage.

      • Miss Rozie says:

        And if people can’t save their money any better, that’s on them. Glad you all get handsomely paid in tv. ALWAYS save for that rainy day that WILL unfortunately come. They always do.

      • TV_PA says:

        Uh…not true. Most PAs and assistants I know, including myself the past five years (working on multiple shows) make $10/hour. That being said, if a show gets cancelled/goes on hiatus early, you find more work. That’s the world we work in.

      • mary says:

        Um, yea not all do. Not saying she should have to work because of that either. I’m just surprised they wouldn’t take the opportunity to work around her not being there. Change can be good.

    • Cheyenne says:

      KW hated doing that in season 3 and said she never wanted to do it again. And some of those scenes looked ridiculous, especially when they had her wearing that oversized black and white jacket. She looked like a molting penguin.

      • Cathy says:

        And the camera work was horrible, too. They would shot her from behind something else, with a chair in front of her, and it just looked odd.

      • meleliot says:

        A good portion of the show is about what KW is wearing. It really takes away the fun of fashion if she’s hiding behind a plant. I prefer she stay off camera until she’s comfortable with her health, quality of the show, and yes her figure.

      • herman1959 says:

        Shonda even admitted that the results were less than satisfactory last time, but that they did what they had to do. Having the show come back mid-season is the best solution, especially for the writers. Hopefully they’ll use the break to fix the show because, as it stands, the only way out would be to claim that the last few weeks were a dream. They can’t go THERE.

    • Tom Anoe says:

      Hate to say it but because the way Olivia has been behaving this year – kill her off in the finale and end the damn show!

    • Arah says:

      Ugg no, not again. I love Kerry the beautiful wife and mother but I need sexy single Olivia. Those weird scenes with her sitting at a desk and random plants in the shot no thanks.

  3. Mollie says:

    If they hold until midseason then they don’t even have to address her pregnancy since she is likely due in early fall. Smartest move by ABC. Maybe this will force the writers to map out a season instead of hand these actors scripts two minutes before they are supposed to film.

  4. Kate says:

    It sucks for the other actors that their work gets reduced because of her. Olivia has become so unlikeable this season I think it would have been more interesting to explore some stories without her. They’ve got plenty of actors on the show who barely get any screen time.

    • NM says:

      This move could potentially save their show and jobs given that they have at least 6 months to start writing and figure out a tighter story that won’t drag out like seasons 4 and 5. Also, it’ll be better for viewers because chances are this show can run consistently without breaks when it comes back, which could improve ratings with the hype of waiting so long. The only issue to worry about is contracts of the cast running out next season, so this could lead into a very powerful season and character arcs for the cast if we’re to expect some departures.

      • Jewels says:

        Totally agree! I’m only watching casually now because the show really became tedious these last couple of years. Olivia is unlikeable – Kerry does an amazing job as always but the writers have turned this amazing character into a travesty…

        • Vseaton says:

          Agreed. Her character has become so annoying. I stopped watching. I come here for hope that she’s turned around so I can watch again. I used to love this show. Now I can’t take it

    • Jane says:

      Dude please, there is no show without KW. They could have the other characters be the focus, but they’re milquetoast, banal, and just plain boring. This is the best thing that could have happened to Scandal.

      • Carol says:

        Thank you. I don’t really care about the other characters unless they are interacting with Olivia. Who wants to see more of whiny Mellie, save me Jake, monologue Rowan, I’m a big dog (not) Abby, etc?

        • Jane says:

          I’m the same way. Olivia is the focus, even if the writers have done their best to ruin her character. I literally skip over scenes if she’s not present. Scandal will be fine. Like I said earlier, this is the best thing to happen to the show.

    • Lee says:

      It’s not really because of her per se, its because of the ratings, which have fallen as Olivia’s become less likeable.
      If they felt they had a shot at a hit show without OP, they’d air it. They don’t. People don’t like the characters they’re focusing on, Mellie and Jake.
      A show with those two and no Olivia would be cancelled before she came back from maternity leave.

    • RTBLUE says:


      • Cathy says:

        Someone on another site said they should add pregnancy clauses, like they used to in the old days. Facepalm.

        • mary says:

          That was said when Sarah Shahi(POI) became pregnant, & AJ Cook(CI). I am sure agents take this into consideration when negotiating for them. Showrunners are not idiots(most of the time). They see their ages & know it can happen.

    • Kat Aston says:

      No, without Olivia there’s no Scandal. She’s the only reason I continue to watch, along with the POTUS. I still like her better than the other characters. Mellie is totally fake and we won’t even get started with the Jake character. So, Shondaland knows what they are doing. Scandal without Kerry Washington would be a disaster.

    • Kat Aston says:

      No, without Olivia there’s no Scandal. She’s the only reason I continue to watch, along with the POTUS. I still like her better than the other characters. Mellie is totally fake and we won’t even get started with the Jake character. So, Shondaland knows what they are doing. Scandal without Kerry Washington would be a disaster.

  5. Kevin K says:

    Hope The Catch gets renewed for a second season and who knows if it should take over the 9 pm Thursday night time slot in the Fall once Scandal returns until mid-season or maybe HTGAWM.

  6. AliCat7 says:

    I’m sure the network loved hearing this news which gave a good excuse to cut scandal budget due to the low ratings. I think ABC planned the reduction all along. There might be a character death as well.

    • Al says:

      Umm its ABC #2 drama …. So unlikely

      • ABG says:

        Grey’s has suffered budget cuts in the past (Sloan dying), even when it’s still ABC’s biggest drama. You can’t ignore the fact that even if it’s still ABC’s #2 drama, it also fell more than 50% this year.

        • :-) says:

          Scandal doesn’t have nearly the bloat Grey’s had at that point. Also most of the Scandal cast is branching out and has outside projects. They are planning for life after scandal so they don’t need to try to get enormous contract increases. The Grey’s cast was known for trying to hold out for money. I’m not against it getting paid your worth but some of them over estimated their and made it easier to be written out by the next contract. The scandal cast is more family. Most of them are working with Shondaland to learn new skills, directing development ect

  7. NM says:

    So that brings it to 106 episodes by season 6. I think cancellation could be on the rise after season 6.

    • Al says:

      Still abc number 2 drama by a margin

      • Cheyenne says:

        You keep repeating that like it means something. ABC itself is falling apart. The whole network rates third behind CBS and NBC.

    • CK says:

      ABC just signed a production deal with Kerry Washington’s production company and their relationship with Shondaland is thicker than blood. Network politicking is going to keep Scandal from being cancelled before they all mutually agree on it. It’s why Scream Queens got a second season on Fox. Fox is staying in the Ryan Murphy game as long as AHS and ACS keep performing well.

  8. Sheila says:

    Good for her and the show. This should make for tighter storytelling.

    • Jane says:

      That’s what I was thinking. The writers could pull together a cohesive story and their ratings could recover. Best thing to happen to Scandal, to be honest.

  9. Andrew Hass says:

    I think this news confirms probably that Scandal will come back mid-season and that all 16 episodes will air consecutively and that could be a good thing.Plus maybe Shonda Rhimes can concentrate fully on Grey’s right now in terms of next season and make plans for Scandal later.

    • grazelled says:

      Oh I hope not! Look what happened when an episode got all her attention and writing, we got the one were Derek died all alone, hit by a truck. Whoever’s running things now is doing a great job.

  10. CK says:

    I’m not upset. I think Scandal could excel with a tighter, shorter season and the writers need to take a step back and reevaluate what they are doing with the series.

  11. webly3 says:

    I think shortening Scandal’s season will actually work better in the long run. I’ve considered dropping Scandal with how annoying many of the current storylines are.

  12. Hellas13 says:

    Room for something new on TV. Hopefully not another Shonda show ONLY because it’s created by her.

  13. Congrats to Kerry. She’s a wonderful actress on a show I just cannot watch anymore. She did a terrific job in ” Confirmation” where she got the opportunity to show what she can do!

    • Cheyenne says:

      “Scandal” is dragging her career down. “Confirmation” came and went and there hasn’t been much buzz about it. Unless “Scandal” takes a radical turn for the better, her career will suffer after the show finally kicks the bucket. It would be better if she could go out with a win.

      • Bev says:

        Cheyenne I read ur comments on a few sites and you r hilarious! I adore u. Chile Scandal/Olivia is nothing but a messy mess and Shonda should have tied this up nicely at the end of season 4 (or3B for some). But oh well, it’s a disaster now and taking up space on my DVR. Congrats Kerry!

      • Carol says:

        Wrong. Confirmation is getting a lot of Emmy buzz. Kerry is guaranteed at least two nominations – Lead Actress in a Movie/Mini Series and as producer for Best TV Movie.

        There will be other nominations – supporting roles, writing, directing, etc. for Confirmation.

        I hope during her maternity leave that Kerry works on producing content via her production company’s deal with ABC.

  14. Jacqi says:

    I would rather have it be uninterupted 16 episodes back to back in the spring. I am enjoying the catch and hope it gets renewed.

  15. MTB says:

    They should just cut her out anyway. She is so bad. It’s the other characters that make this show. Not her.

    • 'A' Revived says:

      Lol said no one ever. This show is about Olivia Pope. The other characters are just support. Kerry Washington IS the show which is why they’re doing this. So please, go somewhere else with that delusion.

    • Nani says:

      Delusional is correct. I think you need to get your head checked, because Kerry is the show.

      Keep trying. Perhaps you can make that argument stick with a less liked and well-known actor.

  16. Al says:

    Too bad Kerry didn’t get pregnant last season, the kidnapping would’ve been a good excuse to usher her out on maternity leave and still kept a full season order lol

  17. Ram510 says:

    So if it’s cut to 16 episodes that mean it won’t premiere until February I’m guessing. Geez, that’ll be a long wait. And every time they say it’s an “uninterrupted” run there’s alway a break or 2 anyways, it’s kind of annoying

  18. funnibone31 says:

    Honestly I think maybe the show would benefit from a shorter season. Less filler episodes.

  19. John k says:

    Now if only they will trim it by 16 more episodes…

  20. Karen says:

    It should be cancelled its so horrible

    • GEM says:

      And replace it with what? It’s not easy to put a new show on the map these days and get the same type of ratings that Scandal has garnered. You are really delusional!

  21. Jared says:

    Scandal was at its best when it had fewer episodes per season. There’s only so much campy melodrama one can take before the plot starts to get ridiculous(which it already has). Maybe a tighter plot line could put this show back on track with 16 episodes instead of the normal 22.

  22. Angie says:

    I like the idea of a midseason return that way the writers will have time to come up with a storyline and not just mimic the election. From what I’ve read, it has been a sad season five, ijs….

  23. Nika says:

    I hear cancellation here. The same will go wth Grimm

  24. Ale says:

    Good news !!!!!
    Six months without Jake and Eli pope…
    Maybe it is time for Crossovers….

  25. They should increase the episode order of HTGAWM then.

  26. Jim J. says:

    “How to Get Away with Murder” is unlikely to work 15 episodes per season because of the deal that Viola Davis, its star, made to do that show. With the possibility of “Scandal”‘s short 6th season being delayed to about February, how about the ABC Network have both “HtGAwM” and “Scandal” be in the same timeslot (likely Thursdays-at-10, which “HtGAwM” currently occupies)? “HtGAwM” can run its 3rd season in the fall and wrap in mid-February, and after that, “Scandal” can run its season in the same time slot during the Spring of 2017.

    This does not mean, however, that “Grey’s Anatomy” will be shifted back to the 9 pm hour, which will turn the 8pm hour back into a death shot. “Grey’s” can stay at 8 pm, and ABC Network can run a brand-new drama in the 9pm hour next season.

  27. DJ Rika 1406 says:

    Love the show and I hate waiting. I’ll suck it up and wait for the mid season return. During its hiatus,, I will be tune in to fanfiction writing my own theories.