Looking to cash in on the wild and runaway success of the “Roseanne” reboot, Fox TV CEO Dana Walden said it inspired a revival of “Last Man Standing.” She states that the show’s success proved to them there was a market for conservative comedies. Walden stated – “Obviously everyone took a good hard look at the performance of that show. It certainly did remind us that we have a huge comedy star in Tim Allen.”
In fact, Allen agreed with fans at the time.
Allen told Fox News – The support from all the fans to bring back ‘Last Man Standing’ is truly overwhelming to me and so appreciated. I, along with the talented writers, wonderful crew, and terrific actors, would definitely entertain the idea of bringing the show back as there is so much gas left in the tank, more to be said, and laughs to be had.”
Deadline reports the cancellation of Last Man Standing by ABC after six seasons become a rallying cry for conservatives, with a petition launched that called for ABC to bring back the series and for a boycott of the network if it did not. The petition, which refers to Last Man Standing as a show that appeals to a broad swath of Americans who find very few shows that extol the virtues with which they can identify — namely conservative values — quickly reached its goal of 150,000 signatures.
“’Last Man Standing’ ended too soon and the outcry from the fans has been deafening,” Walden and Newman said, according to Variety. “We’ve wanted to put the show back together since its final taping a year ago, and Tim never gave up hope either. Thanks to its millions of devoted viewers and the irrepressible Tim Allen, we haven’t seen the last of Last Man Standing.”
Many blamed ABC’s initial canceling of Last Man Standing on the network’s liberal bias.
“Last Man Standing” worked not because Allen portrays a conservative as something other than Hitler. It worked because it was a funny comedy about friends and family. One of whom happened to be a conservative. The comedy always came first. Anything political was natural.
Now as of last Friday, Fox Broadcasting announced a series order for Last Man Standing, which ran for six seasons on ABC before it was canceled due to scheduling conflicts. It seemed that reviving the show was a foregone conclusion. 20th Century Fox, which owns rights to the show and licensed it to ABC, searched for a new home, coming close to reviving it on the country music-based CMT network.
While executives clarified that they were interested in “Last Man Standing” (produced by its own studio, Twentieth Century Fox Television) long before “Roseanne” debuted in March with a jaw-dropping 18 million viewers, seeing those numbers helped.
The road to revival for Last Man Standing had a bit of a rocky path. 20th Century Fox, which owns rights to the show and then in turn licensed it to ABC, searched for a new home for the hit show. They came close to succeeding with reviving it on the country music-based CMT network. However, negotiations stalled out and eventually broke down over licensing fee costs. The talks centered around the exploration of the financial feasibility of producing the series for CMT, which would have involved virtually everyone on the show taking a pay cut. In the end, the two sides could not agree on the numbers.
Deadline calls “the sitcom, which aired on the low-trafficked Friday night, is coming off one of its strongest seasons on ABC, averaging 8.1 million viewers in Live+7 and ranking as ABC’s second-most-watched comedy this season, only behind flagship Modern Family (8.7 million), and the third-most watched ABC scripted series overall behind Grey’s Anatomy and Modern Family. It was a surprise off-network hit when it launched in broadcast syndication last fall, possibly giving the sitcom an extra boost on ABC where it hit series highs.”
From CNN (of all places):
“Excited?” said Allen in a statement via the network. “Team [‘Last Man Standing’] was in the sixth inning, ahead by four runs, stands were packed and then for no reason, they call off the game. It leaves you sitting in the dugout, holding a bat and puzzled. Now we get the news from FOX that it’s time to get back out on that diamond — hell yes, I’m excited!”
The series is set to air on Fox during the 2018-19 TV season.
The series follows Mike Baxter (Allen) a conservative father of three daughters who works at a sporting goods/outdoors store in Colorado and also stars Nancy Travis, Amanda Fuller, Molly Eprahaim and Kaitlyn Denver.
The show earned solid ratings at ABC, averaging a 1.2 rating in adults 18-49, according to Variety.
Asked about the possibility of a Home Improvement reboot in March, Allen said, “I still miss Last Man Standing. We didn’t get our seventh year. I adored that show. It’s like having a new dog and now to go back to the old dog? I don’t know. I like both characters, but yeah, I’d be very interested in that idea.”