The Last Man Standing production studio, 20th Century Fox Television, is reportedly looking to revive the popular Tim Allen sitcom. According to BizPac Review on Monday, the studio that produces Last Man Standing is shopping the show to other networks. 20th Century Fox Television has produced Last Man Standing for nearly six years and was reportedly just as stunned as fans to hear that ABC canceled the show after six seasons.
Ever since Last Man Standing premiered in 2011, 20th Century Fox Television had been in partnership with ABC to produce the show. According to their licensing agreement for the last six seasons, 20th Century Fox Television agreed to pay all production costs. However, that licensing agreement expired after the sixth season of Last Man Standing aired on ABC from September of 2016 to March of 2017. If ABC had renewed Last Man Standing for a seventh season, the network would have had to take over the cost of production.
According to the Daily Wire, ABC was “contractually required to cover the cost” of producing Last Man Standing after Season 6, which ABC was reportedly unwilling to do. The report goes on to say that ABC canceled Last Man Standing instead, citing the cost of Tim Allen’s “high salary” as the reason for doing so. ABC also said that they planned to do away with comedy for their upcoming Friday night fall lineup, that now includes Once Upon a Time, Marvel’s Inhumans, and 20/20, as noted on the network’s new 2017 fall primetime schedule.
The sudden cancellation of Last Man Standing by ABC took fans, as well as the show’s cast members and production studio, by surprise. Rumors even began to circulate, shortly after ABC abruptly cut Last Man Standing on May 10, that claimed the network had canceled the show due to its conservative political views by star Tim Allen, 63. Fans of Last Man Standing even attempted a boycott of ABC to get the network to reconsider its decision to drop the highly-rated sitcom, which consistently earned the network millions of viewers for both its Tuesday night timeslot during the first three seasons, as well as its Friday night timeslot for the last three seasons.
The US Herald reports that Last Man Standing was ABC’s second most highly-rated sitcom, after the network’s long-running sitcom Modern Family. However, ABC is standing by its unpopular decision to cancel Last Man Standing, saying it was a “tough call” to make due to “business and scheduling reasons,” according to Uinterview. Fans reacted to news of the show’s sudden cancellation on ABC’s official Last Man Standing Facebook page, asking why the network couldn’t at least give the show one more season to “wrap things up” for the viewers.
One president of 20th Century Fox Television, Jonnie Davis, says he knows how passionate Last Man Standing fans are, while another 20th Century Fox Television president, Howard Kurtzman, says that Last Man Standing might be making a comeback. According to Kurtzman, 20th Century Fox Television is “hopeful that we can find another home for it.” Kurtzman goes on to say that the production studio is currently “shopping the show to other networks,” thanks to the “passionate support” of Last Man Standing fans, even though production costs will be “significantly higher” for a seventh season.
Although Tim Allen’s conservative voice was loudly heard on Last Man Standing, the show did often counter the Baxter family patriarch, Mike, with liberal viewpoints, mainly through the script of oldest Baxter daughter, Kristin, a single teenage mom who “espouses more liberal beliefs” on the show. IMDB shares a list of Tim Allen’s famous conservative quotes from Last Man Standing, including a verbal exchange with Kristin, played by Amanda Fuller, 32, concerning the importance of childhood vaccinations.
“Those of you waging a war against vaccinations, you’re going to lose that war, vaccines won the Revolutionary War,” according to Mike Baxter.
“Or a thoughtful well-informed parent who knows the vaccine can make their child sicker than the disease, I chose not to vaccinate Boyd,” countered Kristin.
Quartz calls Last Man Standing a “rare find” for conservative TV viewers, adding that Last Man Standing was not likely canceled due to its conservative nature, as rumors suggest.
“Last Man Standing was the very definition of an expendable sitcom—the kind that networks cancel all the time.”
The article on Quartz goes on to say that viewership for Last Man Standing had been steadily dropping with each new season, and Tim Allen’s “marquee salary” probably won’t make another network “giddy to grab” Last Man Standing for a revival, “from a financial perspective.”
Even so, TV Series Finale says that a TV streaming service, like Netflix or Amazon Video, would be more likely to pick up a multi-camera sitcom like Last Man Standing, adding that the Big Four networks—ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox—are all moving away from multi-cams.
[Featured Image by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images]