Tim Allen stunned show axed


Lethbridge Herald - - WEEKEND BEAT ✦ ENTERTAINMENT - Fra­zier Moore

Have view­ers seen the last of “Last Man Stand­ing” ? Not with­out a fight, at least to judge by the up­roar over ABC’s an­nounce­ment that the Tim Allen sit­com won’t be back in the fall.

A warm fam­ily com­edy about a man who stays ad­dled by the fe­males in his life while be­ing buf­feted by cul­tural forces he fears un­der­mine his man­li­ness, “Last Man Stand­ing” has long been a quiet main­stay on ABC’s Fri­day sched­ule.

But ap­par­ently not much longer.

“Stunned and blind­sided by the net­work I called home for the last six years,” Allen tweeted Tues­day, the same day ABC of­fi­cially an­nounced its 2017-18 lineup with “Last Man Stand­ing” ab­sent.

The show’s fate was sealed when the net­work de­cided to scrap its Fri­day come­dies, ABC En­ter­tain­ment Pres­i­dent Chan­ning Dungey said in a tele­con­fer­ence. By then the move had spurred an on­line pe­ti­tion on change.org call­ing for a boy­cott of ABC for yank­ing the show and prais­ing the show’s “con­ser­va­tive val­ues” — val­ues many an­gry fans ac­cuse ABC of want­ing to muz­zle.

Dungey wouldn’t specif­i­cally ad­dress a re­porter’s ques­tion about whether politics played any role in the show’s ax­ing. She did say the same fac­tors that go into de­ci­sions about re­new­ing any of the net­work’s shows — in­clud­ing rat­ings, fi­nan­cial con­sid­er­a­tions and the pos­si­bil­ity for fu­ture artis­tic growth — were con­sid­ered in this case. Once ABC made the de­ci­sion not to stay with come­dies on Fri­day, “that’s where we landed,” she said.

Fans of the show weren’t con­vinced, and they might have rea­son to won­der. “Last Man Stand­ing” ranked No. 48 in view­er­ship among broad­cast shows this sea­son, with an av­er­age of 5.89 mil­lion view­ers, the Nielsen Co. said. That’s more view­ers than some other ABC se­ries that have been in­vited back, in­clud­ing “black-ish,” “Shark Tank” and “The Gold­bergs,” which just scored a two-year re­newal for a fifth and sixth sea­son.

“Your de­ci­sion to can­cel (“Last Man Stand­ing”) was po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated! The ex­pla­na­tion of cost is a LIE!” de­clared a typ­i­cal tweet.

Other posts noted that a can­celled show not in­fre­quently finds a sec­ond life on a new chan­nel. CMT, Hall­mark and Net­flix were among the net­works “Last Man Stand­ing” fans en­dorsed as a suit­able new home for this show.

Tim Allen

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