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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Pippa Smith: Grown-Up Detective rejected by Freeform

Pippa Smith executive producers Joss Whedon and Siobhan Thompson
Pippa Smith executive producers Joss Whedon and Siobhan Thompson
Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

More shake-ups in the world of Joss Whedon TV production this week, as The Wrap reports that Freeform has passed on Pippa Smith: Grown-Up Detective, created by Siobhan Thompson and Rebecca Drysdale under Whedon’s production aegis. The news comes not long after HBO announced that Whedon would no longer be involved in the production of its old-timey sci-fi series The Nevers, as well as the ongoing controversies surrounding Whedon’s filming of Justice League.

Originally announced back in 2018, Pippa Smith followed a concept that’s been surprisingly well-explored in recent years: That of an Encyclopedia Brown-esque kid detective who’s grown up and found that life no longer fits an easy, single page solution. (See also: Mystery Team, Joe Meno’s novel The Boy Detective Fails, and, most recently John Hodgman and David Rees’ delightful animated comedy Dicktown.) The series was developed by Thompson (College Humor) and Drysdale (Key & Peele), but back in 2018, Joss Whedon’s name was still the one that sold TV shows (sometimes, for a few seasons, until they got canceled), and so it was Whedon whose brand the show was primarily associated with. (Drysdale, meanwhile, made headlines in her own right earlier this year, when she announced that she was departing her job as head writer at The Tonight Show out of a partial desire to avoid the comedy topic of Donald Trump ever again.)

Whether said brand’s modern-day tarnish helped contribute to Pippa’s demise—or whether Freeform executives were just, like, “Nah, Dicktown’s got this covered”—the series has apparently been removed from series consideration.

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