Last Man Standing cancellation inspires ABC boycott threat
The conservative backlash against ABC canceling Last Man Standing continues.
Now there’s a petition pledging a boycott of the Disney-owned network which surpassed 33,000 signatures.
“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,” reads the petition. “Last Man Standing was not just selling conservative ideals though, as some of the characters in the show are clearly of the liberal persuasion, yet the characters on the show all manage to get along and take care of one another, despite their politically opposed views … Last Man Standing is one of the only shows on broadcast television, and the only sitcom, that is not constantly shoving liberal ideals down the throats of the viewers. And sadly, that is likely the real reason the show has been canceled.”
Star Tim Allen has compared being a Republican in Hollywood to 1930s Germany on Jimmy Kimmel Live, and once told Fox News, “What I find odd in Hollywood is that they didn’t like Trump because he was a bully. But if you had any inkling that you were for Trump, you got bullied for doing that. And it gets a bit hypocritical for me.”
ABC hasn’t given a reason for the show’s axing. But despite strong-ish overall viewership, the show’s cancellation wasn’t that surprising to industry observers. EW had predicted in its annual Deathwatch rundown of bubble shows that Last Man Standing might squeak into another season, but that was mainly due to the series having been on the renewal bubble every year and yet always managing to survive despite a modest rating in the adult demo. The comedy averaged a hearty 8.1 million viewers for its sixth and final season, but a relatively weak 1.6 rating among adults 18-49. It’s also produced by an outside studio (20th Century Fox) and networks this year have been particularly aggressive about protecting shows produced in-house and shedding titles produced by rival companies.
In addition, ABC also canceled Last Man Standing‘s Friday night companion comedy, Dr. Ken, suggesting the network might have different plans for their 8 p.m. hour leading into Shark Tank next fall.
Fan hopes of ABC changing its mind on Last Man Standing were likely fueled by NBC deciding to cancel — then un-cancel — its new time-travel drama Timeless. The NBC show had about the same total viewership as Last Man Standing, but a higher adult demo average. We haven’t heard, however, of any momentum toward Last Man Standing being revived.
ABC had no comment on the matter. The network will unveil its fall schedule on Tuesday and have a conference call with reporters, so more about the network’s verdict might be made clear then.