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With the hype surrounding renewals and cancellations finally coming to an end, the big networks sure threw some curveballs our way. From Sleepy Hollow losing its head to the annihilation and quick revival of Timeless, and the shock departure of ABC's #LastManStanding, literally all bets were off the for the fall 2017 season.
Speaking of #TimAllen's long-standing #comedy about a blue collar Christian and his conservative values, viewers are likely perplexed by its departure from ABC; it was the third-most watched ABC scripted series behind Grey's Anatomy and #ModernFamily. As a consistent ratings fiend, and regularly pulling in 8.7 million viewers, America's heartland is questioning how the show came under the knife. So, what was the reason behind such a sudden axing of Last Man Standing?
I'm Still Standing
Speaking in a conference call, ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey said that it was business, and not pleasure, that brought the Republican brother of Modern Family to an end:
“I canceled 'Last Man Standing' for the same business and scheduling reasons that I canceled 'The Real O’Neals,' 'Dr. Ken,' 'The Catch,' and 'American Crime.' 'Last Man Standing' was a challenging one for me because it was a steady performer in the ratings, but once we made the decision not to continue with comedies on Friday that was where we landed.”
Given that Friday is usually seen as a ghostyard for shows with limited expectations for ratings, Last Man Standing managed to keep its head above the water where other productions have sunk. In a decidedly different move, that Friday night slot will now be filled by the likes of Once Upon a Time and Marvel's Inhumans. Dungey maintains that she is sticking with the network's decision to move away from comedy on a Friday night and it was nothing personal.
Elsewhere, the fact that ABC didn't actually own Last Man Standing is sure to have been a clincher. The network has been keen to reduce the licensing fees on shows that aren't its own, and while Last Man Standing and the renewed Fresh off the Boat are both owned by 20th TV, Fresh off the Boat has more critical appeal.
Finally, the end of the sixth season would've seen a renegotiation of contracts and an undoubtedly large increase for Allen's salary as Mike Baxter. With all these factors together, and the show securing a run since 2011, you can start to see why the network might begin to trim the fat on an aging show like Last Man Standing.
The Man Of The Hour
The decision will likely remain unpopular for quite some time and the mud-slinging has already begun. One news site (which we won't name and shame) reported that Last Man Standing rated "barely behind the blatantly pro-homosexual Modern Family." All eyes are now on a political agenda, citing that this may have been the real reason behind the show's demise.
While refusing to open that can of worms, Allen himself has finally broken his silence and taken to Twitter to express his heartbreak:
Even with the lead star refusing to make it about who sits in the White House, there will still be those that see the cancellation of the sitcom as a political vendetta. Following on from Allen's tweet, there was a surge of support for the star, with many seeing the axing as an anti-Trump move.
The 63-year-old Allen controversially compared being a conservative in Hollywood to being in '30s Germany, but when Dungey was asked if this had a sway in the decision, she replied, "I wouldn't say that was the deciding factor."
A petition to revive the show has called out "liberal" ABC and says that it quashed Last Man Standing because “is not constantly shoving liberal ideals down the throats of the viewers.” The petition has reached over 100,000 signatures, but the chances of another network picking up the sitcom are looking a little thin on the ground.
With the likes of Fox not involved in the multi-camera format, Last Man Standing was becoming something of a dying breed. The petition is still going strong, however, so if the show does remain where it "stands," perhaps Allen could start work on a Home Improvement revival? I have always wondered what Al has been up to all these years!
(Source: The Hollywood Reporter)