Allison Tolman
“Fargo” alum Allison Tolman explained why her upcoming ABC series “Downward Dog” is unlike talking-dog shows people have seen in the past. Pictured: Tolman arrives at the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles on Aug. 25, 2014. Reuters/Lucy Nicholson

A lot of people find talking-dog shows too cheesy and sometimes cringeworthy, but the stars and producers of “Downward Dog” said that the upcoming ABC comedy series is unlike talking-dog shows viewers have seen in the past.

“I think it’s a talking-dog show that’s not about a talking dog,” The Hollywood Reporter quoted series star Allison Tolman as saying during the sitcom’s panel at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

“I felt like ‘Downward Dog’ is funny but it’s dramatic,” the “Fargo” alum said of the new show (via TV Guide), in which centers on an anxiety-prone canine (voiced by co-creator Samm Hodges) and his relationship with his romantically challenged owner, Nan (Tolman). “Our show is like a sort of like a little indie movie. It’s not a joke a page or a joke a minute. It’s somber and sad and bittersweet.”

Executive producer John Hoberg echoed Tolman’s description, noting that their goal was to make a comedy for broadcast TV with the sensibility of an FX or Amazon half-hour series.

“It may just be the most courageous thing ABC has ever done,” Tolman’s co-star Lucas Neff joked during the panel, according to Deadline. “We did such a great job — it’s premiering at Sundance.”

Although “Downward Dog” is the first broadcast TV show ever invited to screen at Sundance, it remains to be seen whether viewers will like it. ABC announced the premiere dates for several of its midseason shows on Tuesday, but “Downward Dog” wasn’t one them. Network bosses said that the show, which is based on a web series by Animal Media Group, won’t premiere until summer — a decision that usually indicates limited faith in a project, according to The Wrap.

In addition to Tolman, Hodges and Neff, Barry Rothbart and Kirby Howell-Baptiste also star in the series. Watch “Downward Dog’s” official trailer below: