ABC’s new comedy Manhattan Love Story this week hit the “point of no return” rating of 0.7 in adults 18-49 (Live+Same Day). Now it has become the first casualty of the fall season. The network has pulled the underperforming freshman romantic comedy, effective immediately; its lead-in, Selfie, will run back-to-back originals in the Tuesday 8 PM hour next week.
Selfie and Manhattan Love Story had the odds stacked against them from the start — left to fend for themselves with little promotion, no stars and no lead-in against strong competition. With its social media-friendly title and content, Selfie has been the noisier of the two, tracking OK for a new comedy prelaunch. It has done better in the ratings, most recently logging a 1.1 in 18-49 at 8 PM compared with Manhattan‘s 0.7 at 8:30 PM. Both Selfie and Manhattan Love Story had received orders for three more scripts last week.
Despite the fact that ABC recorded the first cancellation of the fall season, the network’s lineup actually has been impressive. ABC boasts the No. 1 new drama series with the hot How To Get Away With Murder and the No.1 new comedy with Black-Ish. The Goldbergs is flourishing in its new Wednesday 8:30 PM slot, up season-to-season, and the network for the first time in years has a Wednesday comedy block that clicks. Also firing on all cylinders for the first time in a long time is ABC’s Thursday with the Shondaland lineup of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and HTGAWM.
The first cancellation of the season came unusually late this fall, five weeks into the season, as we haven’t had outright flops. Comedies are more vulnerable, with NBC’s Bad Judge and especially A To Z in danger. Last year, the first series to get the ax was new ABC drama Lucky 7, which was pulled after two airings when the second episode hit the dreaded 0.7 L+SD demo rating. Manhattan got to that point in four airings.
Created by Jeff Lowell, Manhattan Love Story chronicled the relationship of a new couple (Analeigh Tipton and Jake McDorman) by running simultaneously their dialogue and inner monologues.