Stumptown won’t get a Season 2 on ABC. Cobie Smulders’ cult hit about a private detective with all kinds of baggage was officially canceled on Wednesday, according to Nellie Andreeva of Deadline. The move comes as a surprise to fans of the show. It was likely a surprise to Smulders and the rest of the cast as well.
The source of the shock isn’t because it was a popular program. It garnered a 73 rating on MetaCritic, qualifying as “generally favorable.”
The reason Stumptown‘s cancellation is out of the blue is that it had previously already been renewed. Just four months ago, ABC ordered Season 2. However, the studio behind the show decided to reverse course.
Stumptown was among those announced in June for ABC’s fall schedule. Slated for a return to its Wednesday, 10 PM slot, production delays due to the coronavirus pandemic could have played a part in the reversal.
Timing issue stumps the Stumptown production
Sources reportedly told Andreeva the delay made it impossible for Smulders’ series to be ready for the fall. Although the network had confidence in audiences returning for Season 2, it couldn’t abide a hole in the schedule.
The series films in Los Angeles. Not only hadn’t production begun, but it also didn’t have a start date pinpointed.
Stumptown also wasn’t aided by a change in showrunners after Season 1. Andreeva said several scripts still needed polishing and shooting was well behind schedule.
The series is also one of those that needs extensive post-production work. Elaborate stunts and varied location shoots made Stumptown exactly the kind of show most impacted by the pandemic. Budget increases driven by the scripts’ delays and needs eventually led to the network pulling the plug. Despite a litany of problems surrounding productions, fans could still get a reprieve.
Streaming services to the rescue?
The show’s audience was strongest in digital and delayed viewing. If that sounds like the perfect formula for someone like Hulu or Netflix to step in, you’re not alone.
Andreeva wrote that ABC is actively shopping Stumptown to both platforms. It’s not limiting itself to those companies either. As of now, there isn’t any movement there but it sounds like a good situation for a spring or summer revival.
Summer seems more likely as some reports said the delays meant the series wouldn’t be ready for air before April of 2021.
Stumptown is based on a graphic novel by the same name and stars Smulders as an Afghanistan War veteran named Dex Parios. Jake Johnson, best known for his comedic turn in The New Girl routinely steals the show as Parios’ best friend.
Even if the series doesn’t find a second life, fans need not worry about Cobie Smulders. Among other projects, she will reprise her role as S.H.I.E.L.D agent Maria Hill in the ongoing Marvel Cinematic Universe.