On Wednesday of last week, ABC pulled the plug on the American sitcom Last Man Standing starring Tim Allen, telling Fox News “this was a scheduling decision.” Allen took to Twitter to respond to the sudden cancellation, saying in a tweet, “Stunned and blindsided by the network I called home for the last six years,” he wrote on Tuesday.
Stunned and blindsided by the network I called home for the last six years. #lastmanstanding
— Tim Allen (@ofctimallen) May 16, 2017
The show ran for six seasons, often negotiating renewals down to the wire with production by 20th Century Fox TV, who agreed to cover the high costs of the show for its six seasons, thanks to Allen’s arranged salary, while ABC aired the program. But, this time, ABC canceled the series without pursuing negotiations, Deadline reports.
On Tuesday during a press call, ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey defended the cancellation. “I canceled Last Man Standing for the same business and scheduling reasons I canceled The Real O’Neals, Dr. Ken, The Catch, American Crime,” Dungey said. “It was challenging because it was a steady performer but when we made the decision not to continue with comedies on Friday that’s where it landed.”
According to Fox News, Last Man Standing performed modestly in ratings for its sixth and final season, averaging 6.4 million viewers and a 1.2 Live+same day rating in adults 18-49 for its 8 p.m. Friday time slot, leaving fans and the cast baffled by its cancellation.
Fans on social media suggest the cancellation is a backlash on Allen who’s known for injecting his conservative ideals onto the show, opposite ABC sitcoms like Modern Family who remain more liberal in representation. Some fans took to Twitter to express their outrage and boycott ABC. A petition to refuel the series has garnered over 200,000 signatures in less than a week.
Nancy Travis, starring opposite Allen as his wife Vanessa Baxter on the show is re-tweeting fans efforts to petition the shows renewal. Amanda Fuller, Allen’s fictional daughter Kristen shared a lengthy note on Twitter, also asking fans to sign the petition. “To all the devoted Last Man Standing fans, thank you,” Fuller wrote. “I believe in the power that lies in storytelling being a mirror to our world, representing all voices…and for that reason I have always been proud and honored to be a part of Last Man Standing, the only sitcom today that I feel truly strived to do that.”