ABC made the decision to cancel the long-running Tim Allen sitcom Last Man Standing ahead of their upfronts this week. The cancellation was a bit of a head scratcher considering it was a top performer for the network in its Friday timeslot and caused a few to speculate that it was removed due to Allen’s controversial comments on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
The response has been loud from fans of the show, especially those on the Conservative side. It even sparked threats of a boycott and a petition, calling Last Man Standing one of the only shows “not constantly shoving liberal ideals down the throats of the viewers.” This response caused the show to spike on social media and can only be enhanced by the comments of Allen himself on Twitter:
ABC addressed the cancellation ahead of their upfront presentation on Tuesday, defending and outlining their decision to cancel the show according to The Hollywood Reporter:
“A large part of these jobs are managing failure, and we have made the tough calls and canceled shows that we would otherwise love to stay on the air. That’s the job. I canceled Last Man Standing for the same business and scheduling reasons that I canceled Dr. Ken, The Real O’Neals, The Catch and American Crime,” ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey told reporters Tuesday ahead of her upfront presentation to advertisers. “Last Man Standing was a challenging one for me because it was a steady performer in the ratings, but once we made the decision not to continue with comedies on Fridays, that was where we landed.”
Dungey adds that the network looks at ratings, acclaim, and ownership when making their decisions over returning shows. Last Man Standing is produced by 20th Century Fox television and closing out season six, a mark that would’ve required the network to renegotiate their contract with Allen according to The Hollywood Reporter. ABC also canceled other outside studio-produced series, including Last Man’s Friday neighbor Dr. Ken from Sony Pictures Television.
Friday’s on ABC will not house the network’s more fantasy and comic book related offerings, with Once Upon A Time leading into Agents Of SHIELD and the premiere of Inhumans from Marvel. Deadline notes that the chances of Last Man Standing continuing with a move to another network are unlikely, but there have been attempts since its cancellation.