'Downward Dog' -- Based in Pittsburgh -- Is a Treat; Allison Tolman Is the Lead Actress in "Downward Dog," a New Sitcom Slated to Premiere at 9:30 P.M. May 17 on ABC. but She Realizes Another Cast Member Is Likely to Steal the Show, Which Is Set and Was Filmed in Pittsburgh. [Derived Headline]

By Behe, Rege | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 11, 2017 | Go to article overview

'Downward Dog' -- Based in Pittsburgh -- Is a Treat; Allison Tolman Is the Lead Actress in "Downward Dog," a New Sitcom Slated to Premiere at 9:30 P.M. May 17 on ABC. but She Realizes Another Cast Member Is Likely to Steal the Show, Which Is Set and Was Filmed in Pittsburgh. [Derived Headline]


Behe, Rege, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Allison Tolman is the lead actress in "Downward Dog," a new sitcom slated to premiere at 9:30 p.m. May 17 on ABC. But she realizes another cast member is likely to steal the show, which is set and was filmed in Pittsburgh.

Martin, the title character, is a somewhat neurotic dog who steals every scene he is in, his thoughts voiced by one of the show's creators, Sam Hodges

"The stories really are focused on Martin and a lot of the time he gets the best lines," Tolman says. "He is easily the most endearing and funniest character. So yeah, there is a bit of competitiveness."

Based on a webisode created by Pittsburgh residents Hodges and Michael Killen of the local video production service Animal, the show features Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Tolman ("Fargo") and Lucas Neff ("Raising Hope"). Last fall, the cast and crew shot episodes at district landmarks including Page's Dairy Mart on the South Side, Wigle Whiskey in the Strip District and a home near Chatham University's campus in Squirrel Hill.

It's Martin who makes the show work despite the talents of the actors. He complains about his existence when Tolman's character (Nan) leaves for work each day and is bedeviled by a neighborhood cat who taunts him from a window. In the show's trailer, Martin wrecks Tolman's work project after feeling neglected, but also shows her an unquestioning love that animal lovers find irresistible.

Martin -- who was a shelter dog in Chicago before he was selected for the role via a nationwide search -- is a mixed breed whose real name is Ned. Trainer Tiffany Wall of Working Wildlife in Los Angeles says Ned was selected on looks alone without knowing anything about his demeanor. But he's proven to be as charismatic as some of his human peers.

"What's great about Ned is he really has a natural love for the characters that he's working with," Wall says. …

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'Downward Dog' -- Based in Pittsburgh -- Is a Treat; Allison Tolman Is the Lead Actress in "Downward Dog," a New Sitcom Slated to Premiere at 9:30 P.M. May 17 on ABC. but She Realizes Another Cast Member Is Likely to Steal the Show, Which Is Set and Was Filmed in Pittsburgh. [Derived Headline]
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