Tim Allen in most ways is a very typical American man. Allen is representative of the majority demographic in America in many respects. Tim’s character Mike Baxter and the Baxter family as presented on Last Man Standing are also representatives of majority demographic groups in America.
Tim Allen’s father died in a car crash when Tim was just 11, leading him to question his faith, though he always attended church. Tim experimented with drugs and alcohol until a brush with the law led him to turn his life around. It’s a sad story, but not an uncommon one. Tim Allen is a man of faith, but that is not uncommon in America either.
Tim Allen is a Christian, as are the Baxter family depicted on Last Man Standing. According to a poll by ABC, 83 percent of Americans are Christians. Polls vary but all agree that at least 70 percent of Americans identify themselves as Christian. According to ABC’s poll, 13 percent of Americans profess to have no religion while the remaining four percent are Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist and a few other faiths.
Tim Allen is conservative, which isn’t just about a political standing. It’s a lifestyle as well, a lifestyle depicted heavily in Last Man Standing. According to a 2017 Gallup Poll, 36 percent of Americans are conservative while only 25 percent of Americans consider themselves liberals. About 34 percent of Americans identify as moderates, making conservatives the largest group.
Last Man Standing depicts Mike Baxter’s daughter returning home to live with her parents, bringing her family with her, according to TV Over Mind’s Nick Hogan.
“What I saw on the show was a Christian couple take in their daughter (a single mother) and her child. I saw acceptance and love of an extremely liberal son-in-law, who returned to do right by his son. I saw unconditional love between family members.”
Tim Allen’s character on Last Man Standing, Mike Baxter, isn’t alone in housing adult children either. CBS News reports that 40 percent of young adults live with their parents, making it the most common living situation for young adults ages 18 to 34.
Television shows portraying typical Americans are relatively rare. Allen’s show, Last Man Standing, was recently canceled even though Last Man Standing’s ratings were stellar compared to the vast majority of ABC shows.
Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing had the third highest ratings of any ABC scripted show, yet it was canceled. ABC claims that there were two reasons Allen’s Last Man Standing show was canceled. First, they didn’t want Friday night to be comedy night anymore. Secondly, they admitted that it might have something to do with the fact that Last Man Standing is produced by 20th Century Fox and not their own network.
So, why didn’t ABC just move Last Man Standing to another night? Why had they carried the Fox-produced Last Man Standing show for years only to cancel it in 2017? There seems to be no logical explanation for a network dropping their No. 3 show while keeping shows that had a far worse standing in the ratings.
Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing character is very much like Tim Allen’s real life persona. The family depicted in Last Man Standing is representative of a number of majority demographics in America. So why don’t more television programs reflect this majority?
Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing thus represents a very typical American family, but not the typical TV characters. While a very large demographic of Americans identify with the characters on Last Man Standing, fewer would logically find much in common with the more typical fare of network shows.
ABC’s cancellation of Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing is curious considering it was one of a kind when it comes to network television. What percentage of television families typically attend church? What percentage of television families depict a conservative family lifestyle? How many show family values?
The cancellation of Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing while other shows depict less common American situations, begs the question, does art imitate life or does life imitate art. Consider the evolution of America’s TV family.
In the 1950s, most television families were two parent households, but in the 1960s single parent families and blended families became more typical. The divorce rate grew. Television rarely portrays Christianity, but the majority of Americans are Christian just like Tim Allen and his character Mike Baxter on Last Man Standing.
Still, despite being the overwhelming majority, the percentage of Christians has dropped since 1972 when only five percent of Americans claimed they had no religion, according to World Religion News. Divorce rates, though, were at a 40-year low according to Time in 2016. Why isn’t television reflecting that?
Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing proves to be in step with the average American family, while most network television seems comparatively out of touch with the fact. That Americans want to see themselves reflected in television characters is proven by the stellar ratings of Last Man Standing, which is the only Friday night situation comedy of its kind on ABC. Why can’t there be more not fewer of those?
Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing was a rare look into the lives of a family that more or less accurately depicts typical American values. Why do networks rarely acknowledge or depict the most common demographics?
Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing could be picked up by the Fox Network, but no announcement has been made yet. Negations are reportedly ongoing for the realistic family show.
RELATED REPORTS FROM THE INQUISITR
Tim Allen, the cast of Last Man Standing, and the fans remain hopeful.
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