As actress Kerry Washington prepares for the birth of her second child, ABC has decided to push back the premiere date of season six of "Scandal" to accommodate the star's pregnancy.

The network revealed its revised 2016-2017 schedule during its annual upfront presentation in New York City this week, and it's officially breaking up its Shondaland-only Thursday night block. Freshman series "Notorious" will take over "Scandal"'s 9 p.m. TGIT timeslot in the fall, with "Scandal" set to return for an abbreviated 16-episode run sometime during the midseason.

That move probably means that Olivia Pope, Washington's onscreen alter ego, will not be pregnant on the series, a potential plot point that was up in the air before ABC's announcement. An Olivia pregnancy seemed like a longshot anyway, considering the character famously had an abortion earlier in season five, though it seemed that ABC did not yet have a plan for how to address Washington's baby bump when her pregnancy was made public earlier this month.

Washington and her husband, Nnamdi Asomugha, welcomed their first child, daughter Isabelle, back in April 2014. That pregnancy, which occurred during "Scandal"'s third season, was also not written into the show, and necessitated some similar schedule shuffling.

Season five of "Scandal" wrapped last week. Season six is tentatively expected to debut sometime in January 2017.

[via: The Hollywood Reporter]

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