ABC is soon launching a comedy series called Downward Dog. If you are thinking this is a show about yoga, you are wrong. The upcoming comedy series is actually a single-camera sitcom where a dog, Martin, will be speaking directly to the camera about his life as well as his owner Nan’s life. There have been no releases as to what that will actually look like, but the description seems to give off something similar to ABC’s hit comedy Modern Family, where the storyline that the audience sees breaks to an interview-style set-up where we never see the cameraman or person the character is speaking to. We just get to hear their thoughts on the scene in question.
“#DD” was a web series that was produced, but was never actually put up online since it had gotten attention from the big television networks, including ABC who nabbed the concept. The original concept was produced by Animal Medial Group, which is a Pittsburgh-based commercial production company and part of Animal Inc. The company has previously produced feature films such as Blood Brother and Gennadiy, but #DownwardDog will be the company’s first scripted television series. It had good success with Blood Brother, which won the Sundance Grand Jury Award in 2013, so the company should know what they are doing. And given the enthusiasm of the television networks to jump on board with the concept, we should be expecting good things from the show. ABC’s comedy lineup is solid, including Modern Family, The Goldbergs, The Middle, and Blackish. #DownwardDog should be a nice addition.
The web series was originally created by Samm Hodges and Michael Killen who are also producing the television series alongside Mosaic Media Group and Jimmy Miller, among others. When asked to describe the series, Hodges and Killen said, “Nan’s life is in a constant state of upheaval, but she always feels like she’s about to turn the corner. Her ideal self lies just on the other side of this juice cleanse, or new relationship, or maybe if she gets a standing desk. … Meanwhile, her dog, Martin, just wants her. And he’ll do whatever it takes to get her attention.” The take is reminiscent of the 2008 bestselling novel The Art of Racing in the Rain, entirely told from the perspective of a dog. The novel was more of a drama and we can image the comedic take that DD will have on the lives and habits of humans.
Executive Producer Jimmy Miller said, “Very rarely have I ever seen something so well-conceived, and then well-executed. Michael and Samm have imagined a perfect blend of comedy, observation, and heart. I couldn’t be more excited about this,” leading us to believe that the show should in fact be fully produced and shot, even though the details of that have not been revealed as of yet.
Most of the cast of the upcoming show has yet to be revealed, but it has been reported that the main role of Nan, the dog’s owner, will be played by Allison Tolman. Tolman, 34, was a breakout star in FX’s series Fargo, playing the role of Molly Solverson. Her other
Up until this point, it has only been revealed that the pilot of the show was scheduled to be shot in December 2015 in Pittsburgh, starring Tolman, but there have been no other reports of casting or production at this time.