Like a kid who’s just gotten the straight dope on Santa (or who harbors a brutal anti-Tinkerbell grudge), ABC seems to be having trouble believing in imaginary things. Specifically, it seems to be losing faith in Imaginary Mary, the network’s upcoming family comedy starring Rachel Dratch as a sort of uncanny valley pillow monster with a talent for bad advice.
The series—which centers on Jenna Elfman’s Alice, a successful woman who reverts to talking to her old imaginary friend as the pressures of adulthood loom—has been cut back to a nine-episode first season, from an initial order of 13. According to Deadline, the cut comes because of delays with the CGI the show uses to animate Mary, which apparently tested poorly in the show’s pilot.
Despite its high-concept premise, Imaginary Mary has a pretty solid pedigree going for it: created by The Goldbergs’ Adam F. Goldberg and Adam Sandler’s Happy Madison, the series features an already-praised performance from ABC’s old Dharma & Greg star Elfman. That being said, it’s rarely a good sign when a network cuts back an order like this, suggesting that the midseason series might be whisked out of existence before it has a chance to be much more than a figment in its creators’ minds.