Tim Allen seems to think politics had everything to do with "Last Man Standing" being canceled, despite ABC's boss saying otherwise. He also had strong words for the failed CMT deal to pick up the show, saying, "You couldn't have handled this situation worse."
ABC canceled "Last Man Standing" in May, after six seasons. At the time, Tim Allen -- who starred as Mike Baxter -- tweeted that he was stunned and blindsided by the network. He shared more details during a lengthy interview on "Norm Macdonald Live." He first said he had "no idea why [ABC] did what they did," but then added his take:
"I always wanted 'Last Man Standing' to be like Archie Bunker [of 'All in the Family.'] Archie Bunker pushed boundaries, but Carroll O'Connor was not that guy at all. I am a version of that guy. But there is nothing more dangerous, especially in this climate, than a funny, likable conservative character. [Mike Baxter] is mitigated on the show by a family of women who had a difference of opinions, but he was a likable guy and a principled guy about work and ethics and all this stuff, I think."
ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey insisted in August that Tim Allen's "personal politics had nothing to do with" cancelling "Last Man Standing." As she had previously argued:
"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."
After ABC canceled the show, fans launched a petition to save it (that petition current has more than 411,000 signatures). CMT was in talks with studio 20th Century Fox TV to try and pick up the show, even though a deal was considered a long-shot due to the high price tag of the series. Those talks fell through in June, and Tim Allen told Norm Macdonald how upset he was with how that failed deal was handled:
"You couldn't have handled this situation worse. I'll survive, but there's 190 [people] who worked [on 'Last Man Standing']. They didn't let them know until late June. It was handled very badly."
Tim Allen made $235,000 per episode of "Last Man Standing," TV Guide reported. According to TVLine, the show averaged 6.4 million weekly viewers with a 1.1 demo rating, making it ABC's second most-watched comedy overall, behind "Modern Family," but No. 8 in the advertiser-loving 18-49 demographic.
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