Amid the enormous quantities of TV renewal and cancellation news hitting the airwaves, FOX announced its revival of Last Man Standing. This brings back the Tim Allen vehicle after ABC cancelled the show in 2017 and CMT snubbed the series for revival purposes. Yet as it turns out — and likely to the surprise of few — FOX was inspired to make their (somewhat controversial) decision after watching ABC’s recent windfall with reviving Roseanne.
Indeed, the power of nostalgia is strong, and Roseanne has emerged as the most-watched show of the season. All the while, titular star Roseanne Barr’s been tweeting inflammatory political opinions, but FOX executives have insisted (during a conference call transcribed by Hollywood Reporter) that they made their Last Man Standing decision based solely upon ratings potential, not politics. Here’s what FOX TV CEO Dana Walden had to offer:
“Obviously everyone took a good hard look at the performance of [that show]. It certainly did remind us that we have a huge comedy star in Tim Allen. And we have been talking to Tim through the year.”
Walden’s partner, Gary Newman, also spoke up to downplay one reporter’s suggestion that FOX was aiming for a “tonal shift” while stressing that, ultimately, it’s all about the ratings. Walden added that ABC had not, “for whatever reason,” made Allen’s series a priority, which may be a reference to its relegation to a Friday night time slot.
Whatever the case, FOX may also reap some benefits from the notoriety wielded by the conservative Tim Allen, as well as the fact that most Tim Allen characters are not-so-loosely based upon Tim Allen. He previously stated that his show was cancelled by ABC because it was too “dangerous,” politically speaking, and he had always wanted his character to be more like Archie Bunker of All In The Family fame. In other words, a revived Tim Allen may really be the new revived Roseanne Barr, and things are gonna be messy.