'Alaska Daily' Canceled; ABC Drama Highlighted MMIW Crisis

First Nations citizen Grace Dove (left) and two-time Oscar winner Hillary Swank starred in the ABC drama 'Alaska Daily' (Photo: ABC-TV)

ABC canceled Alaska Daily, a prime-time drama starring two-time  Academy-Award winner Hilary Swank and First Nations citizen Grace Dove (Secwépemc) after only one season.

The program debuted last September and its 11-episode run ended on March 30.

Alaska Daily highlighted the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) epidemic, exposing millions of viewers to the crisis during its first season run.

In the series, Swank played Eileen Fitzgerald, an investigative journalist who left her high-profile New York life behind after a fall from grace. At the urging of a former editor, she joins a small daily metro newspaper in Anchorage. Her first assignment: Get the scoop on a cold case involving the death of an Indigenous woman. She’s paired with another reporter, portrayed by Dove, who works alongside Fitzgerald.

“This has been a lifetime in the making and I am so honoured to be a part of a very important story,” Dove wrote on Instagram leading up to the premiere last September. “Bringing awareness to #MMIW on network television.”

Alaska ranks fourth in the nation for the highest number of MMIW cases—behind New Mexico, Washington and Arizona—according to a 2017 Urban Indian Health Institute study. In 2016, there were more than 5,000 reports of missing American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls, but the US Department of Justice’s federal missing persons database only documented 116.

Unfortunately, ratings led to Friday’s cancellation announcement . Alaska Daily averaged 5.3 million total viewers per episode.

The series is available to stream on Hulu in the United States and on Disney+ in many countries including the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

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