VIA| Fans of ABC’s “Last Man Standing” were shocked and furious to learn that the popular show was unexpectedly cancelled. With high ratings and broad appeal, no one could understand what would make the network want to get rid of the show. But it wasn’t just the fans who were shocked — star Tim Allen was, too, and he publicly said so after the cancellation hit the news.
Allen had initially kept quiet about ABC’s decision to cancel his show, but eventually, he took to Twitter to express his disappointment.
Stunned and blindsided by the network I called home for the last six years. #lastmanstanding
— Tim Allen (@ofctimallen) May 16, 2017
Allen had good reason to be stunned. The show won its Friday night timeslot, was ABC’s second-highest rated comedy, and was also seen as an “anchor” — a show that was good enough to not only keep viewers tuned in to “Last Man Standing”, but whatever show came after it as well. On top of that, it was extremely successful in syndication — a major cash grab for ABC. Shows that do well in syndication, that can sell individual episodes to other networks, are huge money-makers, and this was another category that “Last Man Standing” fell into. “Deadline” called it a “rare off-network ratings success story these days.”
So why was the show cancelled? ABC claims it was an issue of money. Allen’s salary would have to be re-negotiated, and the show’s owner, 20th Century Fox TV, allegedly had expensive licensing agreements. The problem with this explanation is that another ABC show, “Modern Family” had similar issues. But in that case, ABC worked out the licensing issues with 20th Century Fox TV, as well as negotiated with the stars of the show, so they could keep “Modern Family” on the air.
The difference between “Modern Family” and “Last Man Standing”? One show is a liberal showcase of progressive ideals, while the other was proudly conservative. It’s not that hard to figure out what the truth is here.