By Charlie Mitchell

I never met Samm Hodges, although I knew his wife, Kathryn.

That’s easy to do in a church with over 3,000 attendees across five services on an average weekend, like Allegheny Center Alliance Church on the Northside. Janet and I knew Kathryn through our shared involvement in the ACAC Choir.

What we didn’t know was her husband Samm’s dream. A dream that took the Hodges to Los Angeles five years ago.

A dream of creating a show about a talking dog.

Episodes like this, posted on YouTube, are where it started.

Over time, Disney took interest in the videos and began a dialogue with Hodges, co-producer (and also a Pittsburgh native) Michael Killen and crew. Eventually ABC placed the show on an upcoming primetime schedule.

Tonight at 9:30, “upcoming” becomes “right now.”

And even though the Hodges live in La-La Land now, they sent a load of love back our way. Downward Dog is not only set in Pittsburgh, it’s filmed here too. After tonight’s premiere, it’ll settle into Tuesday nights at 8pm.

The Post-Gazette’s Rob Owen reviews the show HERE.

More about the show HERE.

Check out Samm Hodges’ five-year odyssey to get Downward Dog on TV, HERE.


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