ABC’s cancellation of Last Man Standing is still a sore spot with its star, Tim Allen, who vented about the decision on Norm Macdonald Live. “It was handled very badly,” he said, noting how the network didn’t let the team know about the boot “until late June.” Allen, a conservative who attended the inauguration of President Donald Trump, believes it comes back to politics.
“There is nothing more dangerous to me, especially in this climate, than a funny, likable conservative,” Allen told Macdonald. “That was the most dangerous thing because he is mitigated on the show by a family of all women who had a difference of opinions, but [Mike Baxter] was a likable guy and a principled guy, just about work and ethics and all this stuff. I think there’s nothing more dangerous right now than a likable conservative character.”
The comedian still doesn’t know why Last Man Standing was canceled. He had high hopes for his character to be the equivalent of All in the Family‘s Archie Bunker, who “pushed boundaries,” as he said.
“Second biggest show, [ABC] hadn’t won a Friday night in 15 years. They put us out to pasture on Friday and we won Friday. Big night for us. Big night for them,” he said. “I would have put Roseanne [the revival] after us. That’s what I would’ve done, just launch Roseanne, launch any show you want. Use us just to launch shows, if nothing else. It’s hard. I have no idea why they did what they did.”
Watch Allen’s remarks on Last Man Standing beginning around the 34:50 mark.
Allen tried previously to express his frustrations over being a Republican in Hollywood while appearing on Jimmy Kimmel Live in March, but the star received backlash for it when he compared the scenario to Germany in the 1930s. “You’ve gotta be real careful around here,” he said. “You get beat up if don’t believe what everybody believes. … This is like ’30s Germany. I don’t know what happened. If you’re not part of the group, ‘You know what we believe is right,’ I go, ‘Well, I might have a problem with that.'”
When Last Man Standing was canceled, Allen tweeted how he was “stunned and blindsided by the network I called home for the last six years.”
ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey defended the decision at the time in a statement. “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,” he said. “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. 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.”