Last Man Standing was a ratings success for ABC, pulling in an estimated 8.1 million live viewers, so fans weren't the only ones stunned when ABC pulled the plug on the comedy in May. Even Tim Allen, the series' star, admitted he was blindsided by the news.
But when questioned about the networks decision at the Television Critics Association summer press tour, ABC Entertainment Chief Channing Dungey insisted that Allen's politics had nothing to do with the decision.
"Politics had nothing to do with it. We have actors on our shows who have all sorts of different views. Tim Allen is a valuable part of the Disney/ABC family. He has been for a very, very long time. And 'Last Man Standing' was a show that, several years running, kind of came up to the very end in terms of the renewal, which was the same case this year.
Unfortunately, we weren't able to create room" for "Last Man Standing" on the schedule for the new season, "which was a disappointment to me because the show was a high-quality show that was very well done. But Tim Allen's personal politics had nothing whatsoever to do with it."
Dungey isn't the only one who is disappointed; fans of #TimAllen's long-running sitcom have taken to Twitter to express their disbelief of the network's reasoning behind the cancellation.
But while Allen's character, Mike Baxter, does mirror the star's political leanings, the show itself didn't just lend itself to conservative viewers as other characters on the show were much more liberal. And there were plenty of times the Democratic points of view overshadowed the Republican points of view and hit home runs. So the sitcom didn't cater specifically to conservatives.
Much like The West Wing had its faithful liberal viewers, #LastManStanding did have its dedicated viewers who tuned in for Second Amendment humor and Hillary Clinton potshots, but the series didn't rise and fall on its political jokes. And it lasted for six seasons which is a good run for a television series today.
While it's sad to see Last Man Standing go—although it's still possible it could be revived on another network—the decision has been made, and it's clear there won't be a reversal from ABC.
Why do you think ABC cancelled Last Man Standing?