Hodges and Killen said that the cancellation is due to financial complications and that they will work hard to find the show a new home.
Downward Dog was the first ABC series to premiere at Sundance Film Festival, and averaged a .84 rating in the 18-49 demographic and 4.19 million viewers. For comparison, ABC’s most successful scripted series, Grey’s Anatomy, averaged a 2.07 in the 18-49 demo and 7.845 million viewers. So, while Downward Dog certainly wasn’t the worst ABC series, it didn’t make a huge impression.
The news comes in the wake of other losses in the world of scripted television. This week, Netflix revealed that they’d cancelled the series Girlboss, based on the life of Sophia Amoruso, after just one season.
It took Downward Dog years to make it to network television. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter just before the show’s premiere, Killen explained:
The premise sounds like such an awful idea, you really need people who might avoid it to just come into a room, watch and then judge it. The notoriety of Sundance as a tastemaker, basically saying ‘this is a show we feel has quality to it,’ really helped. They showed the first four episodes together, so now I feel like saying to people, ‘Watch the pilot but stick around through episode four and you’ll see how we grow.’
The show started as seven mini-episodes that comprised a web series. The series, in the words of THR, got attention from producers at Legendary Television and, ultimately, ABC. The pilot was filmed in late 2015, and used a dog (Ned) who really came from a shelter. “He’d been in a shelter in Chicago for a year and a half, and somewhere down South before that,” recalls Killen. “He was unadoptable … but our trainer worked with him a lot, and by the time we started shooting he was a real pro.”
Will the co-creators of the daring series find another home for Downward Dog? Only time will tell.
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