'Downward Dog' Canceled at ABC

Despite strong reviews, the Allison Tolman comedy could not cut through a reality-heavy summer period.
ABC/Bob D’Amico
'Downward Dog'

ABC is not moving ahead with Downward Dog.

The comedy starring Fargo breakout Allison Tolman has been canceled after one season, creator Samm Hodges revealed Friday on Twitter.

Despite glowing reviews and a strong reception at the Sundance Film Festival, where it became the first broadcast comedy series to bow, Downward Dog had a challenging time cutting through the reality-heavy clutter this summer and has averaged only a 0.7 in the demo. With cast options expiring June 30, ABC was forced to make a decision now on the show.

"Got the very surprising news that ABC is not moving forward with Downward Dog," Hodges wrote in a note attributed to himself and co-creator Michael Killen. "They loved it creatively and really wanted to make more, but couldn't find a financial path to do so. That's not a bullshit PR statement, that's true, and we are deeply personally thankful to them for putting this first season on the air and allowing us to make something really unique and uncompromising. Obviously this is a hard moment, but we're not done. The crazy amazing love you the fans have shown for DD combined with the critical response make us confident that there is a future and we are committed to finding a new home. ABC is airing the last two episodes of season one on Tuesday at 10|9 central. Watch and show the world how much you care! Thanks for your love and support."

Picked up in September 2015 with a hefty pilot production order, the single-camera comedy was based on the web series created and written by Animal Media Group's Hodges and Killen, who executive produced alongside Mosaic Media Group's Jimmy Miller and Sam Hansen, as well as Animal's Kathy Dziubek. The comedy was a co-production between Legendary Television and ABC Studios revolving around a woman and her dog. The twist was that it featured a Modern Family-style confessional — for the dog.

ABC's decision to ax Downward Dog comes a day after the Disney-owned network moved ratings-challenged Shondaland series Still Star-Crossed to Saturdays. The Romeo and Juliet-influenced period drama, while fully owned in-house, was outrated by Downward Dog and is not expected to earn a second season.
All told, ABC's 2016-2017 freshman class saw saw three of nine series score second seasons: comedies American Housewife and Speechless, as well as drama Designated Survivor.