Last Man Standing is taking a permanent seat.
ABC recently announced the cancellation of the Tim Allen-starring sitcom after six seasons. Last Man Standing was part of an hour block of comedy on Friday nights for the network and averaged 8 million viewers per week.
Despite the number of eyes tuning in (and the show’s appeal to middle America), ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey decided it was time to pull the plug on the series, which ran for 130 episodes.
“A large part of these jobs are managing failure, and we’ve made the tough calls and canceled shows that we’d otherwise love to stay on the air,” Dungey said during a conference call on Tuesday.
Allen, who previously worked for ABC in the 1990s on the hit sitcom Home Improvement, took to Twitter on Tuesday to express his shock and disappointment at the cancellation.
Stunned and blindsided by the network I called home for the last six years. #lastmanstanding
— Tim Allen (@ofctimallen) May 16, 2017
Some conservative fans of the show started a petition in hopes that the Disney-owned network would reverse its decision and renew the show.
“Last Man Standing stands out in the sea of network television sitcoms. It is a show that appeals to a broad swath of Americans who find very few shows that extol the virtues with which they can identify; namely conservative values,” read the petition.
But Dungey made it clear that the move had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with a shift in programming for ABC.
“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. And 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,” she said
However, on Thursday, May 18th, 20th Century Fox Television presidents Jonnie Davis and Howard Kurtzman revealed that the show may get a second chance.
“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,” Kurtzman told Variety.
“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,” he added.
“We know how passionate our fans are, and we’re seeing that now,” Davis said.
If Last Man Standing doesn’t land somewhere, the career setback won’t slow Allen down. The Detroit native continues to perform stand-up on a regular basis (recently appearing in Las Vegas) and he’ll reprise his role as Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story 4 (he’s also apparently growing a beard for his next movie).
(Photo Credit: ABC)