The COVID TV lockdowns have struck again this evening, as ABC announced that it’s canceling Cobie Smulders’ detective drama Stumptown—despite the fact that the show had already been renewed for a second season. Per Variety, the news comes just as we dive fully into the strange, fitful, semi-abortive Fall 2020 TV season, as multiple networks struggle to figure out what to broadcast now that the act of “making TV” has suddenly become far more difficult that previously anticipated.
Stumptown’s not the first series to get un-renewed out of existence during pandemic times, admittedly; the series—which also stars Jake Johnson, Tantoo Cardinal, Cole Sibus, and Adrian Martinez—follows in the un-birthdayed footsteps of shows like Netflix’s I Am Not Okay With This and Amazon’s miniseries Cortés y Moctezuma, which still holds the distinction of being one of the few shows picked up to series, then canceled without ever airing a single installment. Stumptown, which followed Smulders as a U.S. military vet coping with massive debts and PTSD by investigating crimes in Portland, OR, was previously renewed by ABC back in March, when optimism was presumably running in slightly stronger supply. (In fact, the network renewed almost all of its programming back then, which makes us wonder if this is just the first domino to fall.) For what it’s worth, we were pretty excited to see where the series would go with a second season; despite the occasional misstep, the first was an enjoyable throwback to classic private eye TV tropes, complete with a charismatic Smulders anchoring the entire package.
ABC Signature is reportedly shopping the series around to other possible outlets that might want to pick it up.