Sandra Gonzalez
December 06, 2013 AT 12:00 PM EST

There’s going to be a little less Scandal for fans to enjoy in its third season.

EW has confirmed that ABC has trimmed the episode order for its hit drama by four episodes, bringing the order to 18. While such a move would usually be a bad sign, Scandal fans can rest easy: Ratings for the show have never been better — last night’s original, for example, scored 8.6 million viewers and a 3.1 in the demo.

While ABC declined to give a reason for the trimming, the decision comes a little more than a month after its star, Kerry Washington, announced her pregnancy.

Scandal‘s mid-season finale airs next week and the show returns Feb. 27.

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