Skip To Content
  • Viral badge

21 Actors Who Were Pregnant During Production And How Their Pregnancy Was Written Into Their TV Shows

Scully being abducted during The X-Files Season 2 was some clever storytelling.

1. First, Lucille Ball was pregnant during I Love Lucy Season 2, so they wrote it into the show. At the time, it was controversial because CBS executives didn't like that her being pregnant implied that she and Ricky had sex.

Ricky reading a letter that says a husband and wife are going to have a "blessed event" and then Ricky realizing that he's going to be a father
CBS / Via

In fact, the script for "Lucy Is Enceinte" famously doesn't include the word "pregnant" because CBS deemed the word "too vulgar" at the time. This is also why the French word for "pregnancy" is used in the title of the episode.

2. The Friends creators wrote Lisa Kudrow's pregnancy into Season 4, which is why Phoebe offered to be a surrogate for Frank and Alice.

Phoebe saying, "They're gonna have a baby"

Looking back on the experience, Lisa recalled that the cast had an adorable behind-the-scenes ritual while she was pregnant. She said, "The six of us would do a huddle backstage and just say, 'All right, have a good show, love you, love you, love you.' And when I was pregnant, then they would say, 'Have a great show. Love you, little Julian!'"

3. Gillian Anderson was pregnant during The X-Files Season 2, which is why Scully was kidnapped and abducted in the episode "Duane Barry." Then, a few episodes later, she mysteriously reappeared in a hospital.

Scully looking concerned, and then Mulder looking at Scully as she lies in a hospital bed

The first person on The X-Files who knew about Gillian's pregnancy was David Duchovny. Gillian said that she "confided" in him first because she was "terrified" of telling the producers.

4. Shonda Rhimes wrote Chandra Wilson's pregnancy into Grey's Anatomy during Season 2. Of course, this led to the iconic George and Bailey birth scene that fans still love to this day.

George sitting behind Bailey and Bailey saying, "O'Malley, stop looking at my vajayjay"

For a long time, Chandra's pregnancy was the only real-life pregnancy written into Grey's Anatomy.

5. During Season 6 of Grey's Anatomy, Ellen Pompeo was pregnant with her first child. Instead of having it written into the show, Meredith was put on bed rest after giving her father part of her liver.

Meredith sitting in a hospital bed and Cristina putting her head on Meredith's shoulder

Ellen only took four weeks off after giving birth to her daughter before returning to work on Grey's Anatomy.

6. When Jessica Capshaw was pregnant with her first child, Grey's Anatomy decided to send Arizona to Africa for a few episodes, which led to her breaking up with Callie.

Arizona telling Callie, "You're ruining this for me, and I don't want to do this. I don't want to go to Africa...with you"

In 2012, Jessica was pregnant again, but this time Grey's just used some clever techniques to hide her pregnancy.

7. Wynonna Earp star Melanie Scrofano was pregnant while filming Season 2, so Wynonna shockingly found out that she was pregnant during the episode "Let's Pretend We're Strangers."

Wynonna telling Waverly, "It always comes back to the curse, Wave, always. Waverly...I can't do this. This poor asshole"

Melanie's son was born not long after filming wrapped on Season 2, and she was pregnant while filming the entire season and continued to do a lot of her own stunts. Speaking about incorporating her pregnancy into the show, Melanie said, "I was relieved and I felt empowered."

8. Recently, Vanessa Morgan's pregnancy was written into Riverdale Season 5. After a seven-year time jump, we learned that Toni is pregnant, but she hasn't disclosed who the father is just yet.

Toni telling Archie, "Pregnant, yeah. I am" and Archie saying, "Still a badass though"
The CW

In an Instagram post, Vanessa thanked the showrunner and producers of Riverdale for being "accommodating" and writing her pregnancy into the show.

9. During The Vampire Diaries Season 7, Candice King was pregnant with her first child, so the show had Alaric and Jo's twins magically transferred to Caroline's womb.

Caroline looking down at one of her twins and Alaric smiling at them
The CW

This storyline ended up becoming super important, and Jo and Lizzie Saltzman, Caroline and Alaric's twins, are now main characters on the spinoff series, Legacies.

10. Melissa Fumero was pregnant twice during Brooklyn Nine-Nine. During Season 3, the show hid Melissa's pregnancy until Amy went undercover. Then, in Season 7, Amy was pregnant just like Melissa.

Amy wearing a fake pregnancy belly and saying, "I don't know. Is anyone gonna buy it? I  mean, do I look pregnant?" Then, Jake and Amy with their newborn son

The creators and Melissa actually discussed Amy being pregnant in Season 7 before Melissa found out she was pregnant. Originally they thought about having Amy struggle with infertility through all of Season 7 before getting pregnant in the finale, but Melissa's pregnancy changed their plans.

11. Also on Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Chelsea Peretti was pregnant in 2017, so during Season 4, Gina was pregnant on the show too.

Gina telling Amy, Boyle, and Terry, "Okay, it's fine. You might as well know. I am with child"

This was also why Gina was absent at the beginning of Season 5, most notably during "HalloVeen," where Bill poses as Gina during the Halloween Heist.

12. Lauren Lane, who played C.C. Babcock on The Nanny, was pregnant during most of Season 5. Instead of writing in her pregnancy, the writers gave C.C. a story arc that involved her gaining weight and dealing with her mental health after Fran and Max got engaged.

C.C. holding flowers in front of her stomach, and C.C. saying, "You know, Niles. When I was away at...the place..."

Having C.C. spend time in a psychiatric ward was how the writers explained Lauren's absence after giving birth. Also, during the same season, Rachel Chagall, who played Val, was pregnant too.

13. During The Big Bang Theory Season 11, Melissa Rauch was pregnant, so that's why Bernadette surprised Howard by revealing that she was pregnant with their second child.

Howard holding a pregnancy test, then Howard and Bernadette lying in bed together

Also in Season 11, Bernadette was put on bed rest, which was written into the script to accommodate Melissa's pregnancy after she previously suffered a miscarriage.

14. When Lesley Ann Brandt was pregnant while filming Lucifer, the writers simply wrote in that Maze was off on a bounty-hunting spree, which explained her absence at the beginning of Season 3.

Lucifer telling Maze, "Burn brighter, Mazikeen. You should hunt the most challenging human you can"

Lesley was actually pregnant for "about half of the second season," which included the episodes at the beginning of Season 3 that were originally supposed to be part of Season 2.

15. Jennifer Garner was pregnant during the final season of Alias, so during the first episode of the season, Sydney found out that she was pregnant.

Vaughn saying, "I can't wait to meet this new little person," and Sydney saying, "Really? I mean, it's pretty great, right?"

The character of Rachel Gibson was ultimately added to the show during Season 5 so that Sydney had someone to train and the show could keep the "action-packed" excitement fans were used to when Jennifer couldn't do a lot of her stunts anymore.

16. When January Jones was pregnant during Mad Men, the writers gave Betty Draper a storyline that involved her gaining weight.

Betty at the doctor's office and Betty on the phone

While Betty's weight gain was used to hide January's pregnancy, she revealed that she was only actually pregnant "under the fat suit for one episode." The storyline was met with criticism from both fans and critics.

17. Jenna Fisher's pregnancy was written into The Office Season 8. The season opened with Pam being very pregnant and her and Jim revealing that they were having a boy.

Pam pointing to her pregnant stomach and saying, "Right here. Little Michael Scott" and Jim saying, "Nope. I told you I don't like that joke"

Talking about Pam suddenly being pregnant, Jenna said, "Pam and Jim snuck away last season on Valentine’s Day, and they had sex. The story is that they conceived this baby at that time and were keeping it a secret until we come back from the summer."

18. When Zooey Deschanel was pregnant during New Girl Season 5, Jess ended up being sequestered for jury duty for several episodes.

Jess in court and then Jess saying, "Since you won't be able to contact me for a month, I've left a complementary bowl of advice"

Also, during Season 6, Zooey and Hannah Simone were pregnant, which is one of the reasons the show came back later for the final season.

19. Ginnifer Goodwin was pregnant twice while starring on Once Upon a Time. The first time, the writers elected to write her pregnancy into the show, so Snow White and Prince Charming welcomed a son. However, Ginnifer's second pregnancy was simply hidden onscreen.

Prince Charming holding his son and handing him to Snow White

During Ginnifer's second pregnancy during Season 5, Zelena and Belle were already pregnant on the show, and Emilie de Ravin was pregnant IRL, too.

20. America Ferrera was pregnant during Superstore Season 3, so on the show, Amy found out that she was pregnant right when she was finally ready to date Jonah.

Jonah and Amy kissing and then Amy saying, "I'm pregnant"

Lauren Ash revealed that the cast had a feeling America was pregnant before she even knew. Lauren said, "We were on set, and randomly she said, 'I want pancakes so bad!' And Ben [Feldman] and Colton [Dunn] were like, 'Uh-oh! Somebody's pregnant!' and she was like, 'Shut up! No I'm not!'"

21. And finally, Cynthia Nixon's pregnancy was written into Sex and the City Season 4 when Miranda and Steve welcomed their son, Brady.

Miranda and Carrie smiling while Miranda holds her son in the hospital

Meanwhile, during the following season, Sarah Jessica Parker was also pregnant, but the writers elected to hide her pregnancy onscreen. This is also why the season consisted only of eight episodes.