ABC Cancels Manhattan Love Story And Orders More Selfie


In the first cull of the season, ABC has terminated the fledgling comedy series Manhattan Love Story, after it failed to recover from a shaky start by its third episode. There is much debate about the validity of ratings numbers – at a time when networks are trying to gauge viewership around DVR recordings, while simultaneously scrambling to adapt to changing viewing habits in light of media streaming and ‘binge-watching’ – but it seems the situation for the show was just too dire to continue.

The short-lived series followed Dana (Analeigh Tipton) and Peter (Jake McDorman) as they embarked on a new relationship together – and explored their “unfiltered internal monologues” in the process. Written by Jeff Lowell (Two And A Half Men), the show got off to a relatively weak start – with ratings indicating that viewers were switching off after Manhattan Love Story’s lead-in show, Selfie. Numbers decreased with each subsequent episode which, coupled with ongoing negative reviews, suggested there was little chance of improvement.

The announcement came with a plan of action for SelfieManhattan Love Story’s fellow new starter. In cancelling the weaker of the two, ABC has opted to schedule back-to-back original episodes of Selfie, beginning on Nov. 4. The show, which stars former Doctor Who actress Karen Gillan, centres on a self-obsessed young woman who is concerned that her real social life does not reflect her popularity in social media. In response, she employs the expertise of a marketing guru, played by John Cho. Created by Emily Kapnek (Suburgatory), it is essentially a modernization of George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion (and, by extension, My Fair Lady).

In reassessing its schedule in this way, ABC seems to be indicating more of a commitment to Selfie – though having only ordered three more scripts, it could also be argued that the network is hedging its bets to some extent. The concern regarding Selfie could be the possibility of it having received an initial bump in interest from the early marketing ploy of making the pilot available early, through online streaming in August, coupled with star Karen Gillan having appeared in the box office behemoth Guardians Of The Galaxy. Selfie may well have seen off Manhattan Love Story, but will it be able to sustain interest beyond the Marvel cache of its star? We’ll find out one way or the other in a few weeks time.