Call it The Roseanne Effect: Tim Allen’s defunct sitcom Last Man Standing has been officially revived by Fox to air during the 2018-19 season.
The comedy previously ran for six seasons on ABC before being canceled last year amid fan outrage — and some criticism from conservative outlets that the network axed one of the few prime-time shows with a right-leaning perspective (a comedy that averaged more than 8 million viewers at that).
But then came the election of President Trump and and the return of Roseanne Barr’s politically… let’s say complex… sitcom, the premiere for which broke some ratings records when it debuted on ABC last month.
The revival by Fox comes on the heels of the network canceling three of its current comedies on Thursday — The Last Man on Earth (not to be confused with Last Man Standing), The Mick, and the rather beloved Brooklyn Nine-Nine, which is being shopped to other outlets.
“Excited?” said Allen in a statement. “Team LMS was in the sixth inning, ahead by four runs, stands were packed, and then for no reason, they call off the game. It leaves you sitting in the dugout, holding a bat and puzzled. Now we get the news from Fox that it’s time to get back out on that diamond — hell yes, I’m excited! When I heard the offer to create more episodes of Last Man Standing, I did a fist pump so hard I threw my back out. It’s the fans! I could not be more grateful for the fans who wrote petitions and kept up the passion and incredible support for the show. And a fist pump, ouch, for [Fox Television Group CEOs] Dana Walden and Gary Newman at Fox for not only listening to the fans, but for making the bold move to bring Last Man Standing back. I’m sure audiences will be curious to see what we look like after all these years. Oh, has it only been one year? Well, just goes to show you — a lot can happen in a year.”
Costars Nancy Travis, Jonathan Adams, Amanda Fuller, Christoph Sanders, and Jordan Masterson are also back.
Last Man Standing averaged 8.3 million viewers in its final season on ABC. It was the network’s second most-watched comedy after Modern Family, yet struggled in the 18-49 demographic where it only averaged 1.7 — that’s a number that isn’t as bad today, however, as it was a year ago. The series also ranked as the No. 1 new program across all syndication when it debuted off-net during the 2016-2017 season.