In what will sadly not be the last of these kinds of reversals, ABC decided yesterday to cancel the Cobie Smulders dramedy series Stumptown despite having renewed the show for Season 2 earlier this year. ABC Signature, the studio behind the show, plans to shop it around to hopefully find it a new home.
The reason for the cancellation is partly COVID. Production was obviously expected to begin on Stumptown Season 2 earlier this summer, but TV shows are only just now getting back to work. Further complicating matters is the fact that the series changed showrunners ahead of Season 2, per Deadline, which meant a more significant delay while they got the scripts ready. This meant that Stumptown Season 2 wasn’t going to be ready for airing until April 2021 or so, which is the tail end of the network TV schedule and didn’t exactly align with ABC’s plans for its 2020-21 calendar. As a result, they decided not to move forward with Season 2 after all.
Stumptown shoots in Los Angeles and also stars Jake Johnson, Michael Ealy and Tantoo Cardinal, with a plot revolving a Marine veteran now working as a private investigator. The show performed particularly well in delayed viewing, which could mean it might be a better fit on a streamer like Hulu or Netflix. God knows Netflix is in need of more traditional network-type TV shows that can run for years and create the kind of joyful viewing experience that keep fans rabidly engaged.
But even Netflix has recently reneged on Season 2 orders, having recently opted not to move forward with second seasons of The Society and I Am Not Okay with This despite previously ordering them. COVID delays plus added production costs for safety measures have every network rethinking its upcoming slate.