6:18pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
ABC's 'Manhattan Love Story' Canceled
ABC has pulled the plug on freshman comedy Manhattan Love Story.
The network made the decision late Friday and will replace the comedy with back-to-back original episodes of fellow rookie Selfie on Tuesdays starting Nov. 4. ABC already planned to preempt the series next week.
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The Analeigh Tipton and Jake McDorman comedy from Jeff Lowell and ABC Studios opened to a paltry 4.3 million total viewers and a 1.3 in the all-important adults 18-49 demographic, down from its Selfie lead-in. Week two of the rom-com slipped to 3.2 million total viewers and a 0.9 in the demo. Its most recent airing slipped to a 0.7 in the key demo, a series low — and led to a series low for Marvel's Agents of SHIELD.
The decision to cancel the series after four episodes comes in an era where it's getting harder to define what a success is amid declining ratings and delayed DVR data. In this case, while ABC owned Manhattan Love Story, the weak DVR returns — and poor reviews — likely contributed to the network's decision to pull the plug. The network will double-pump Selfie with its remaining nine episodes on Tuesdays. The network has ordered three additional scripts but has not committed to anything beyond that for the Emily Kapnek comedy.
Despite the weak returns for Manhattan — and to some extent, Selfie — ABC has had a strong fall. How to Get Away With Murder and comedy Black-ish have already been picked up for full seasons, with the former the breakout hit of the season across all the broadcast networks.
Meanwhile, ABC has rookie comedies Fresh Off the Boat and high-concept musical fairy tale Galavant — both coming in with favorable buzz — on the bench for midseason.