Love it or loathe it, ABC's cancellation of #TimAllen's conservative comedy #LastManStanding was one of the most divisive decisions during the recent show shuffle of network television. While shows like Sleepy Hollow, Scream Queens, and 2 Broke Girls were unexpected losses, Last Man Standing really twisted the knife as a big shocker.
Some were left outraged that the show bowed out after six seasons of solid ratings, while others saw it as time to go. ABC itself has confirmed that it was not to do with Allen's outspoken political views, but even this wasn't enough to douse the flames of rumored bias on the channel. As diehard fans still mourn the loss of Mike Baxter, there is a (small) glimmer of hope for the show.
Stand Up And Be Counted
20th Century Fox Television creates the show (which is sold to ABC) and producers Jonnie Davis and Howard Kurtzman are actively seeking a new home for Allen and co. Speaking to Variety, Kurtzman told us that finding a place for Season 7 is their top priority:
"We’re starting to explore that. If it’s not going to go forward at ABC, of course Jonnie and I are hopeful that we can find another home for it.”
With Fox having ditched its multi-camera shows in favor of single-camera comedies like Brooklyn Nine Nine, it is unlikely that Last Man Standing can settle in there, so where are the other options? There is an ever-growing petition to save the Baxters, and we have already seen shows like Community saved by online streaming services. Then again, extremely popular shows like Hannibal have fallen by the wayside despite public outcry and support.
It seems that the cancellation is still sinking in, and certainly came as a shock to all involved. Allen seemed pretty sure it would be lucky number seven for the show, while David and Kurtzman told Variety that they were left gobsmacked by the news:
"That’s the one that’s really an open sore right now,We really were expecting a pickup. The fact that we didn’t get a pickup was a surprise and a disappointment. I think no one was more disappointed than Tim Allen, such a huge star with such a huge following.”
Speaking of Allen, he finally broke his silence and took to Twitter to express his disappointment in ABC and the place he's called home since 2011. The show clearly meant a lot to the 63-year-old , whose Twitter handle reads, "Santa? Buzz Lightyear? The Tool Man? Mike Baxter?" in honor of his iconic roles.
With solid ratings and as ABC's third most popular scripted series, Allen isn't alone in his bewilderment at the show's cancellation, however, with a reshuffle of the Friday night slots and a move away from comedy, ABC is more than justified in their decision and a change of pace.
So, where does this leave us now? The polls are closed, and this looks like one vote that is too close to call. Unfortunately, your producers wanting to find a new home for your show is a little different to actually securing one. With the actors presumably released from their contracts, Fox will have to act fast to put the wheels back on the wagon here.
Should another network save 'Last Man Standing'?