Actor Tim Allen doubled down on his condemnation of ABC’s decision to abruptly cancel the highly-rated sitcom Last Man Standing, saying his “funny, likable conservative” character may have led to the show’s demise.
The veteran actor and stand-up comedian unloaded on the network Tuesday during an appearance on Norm Macdonald Live.
“I have no idea why they did what they did,” Allen said of ABC. “You couldn’t have handled this worse.”
“Second biggest show, [ABC] hadn’t won a Friday night in 15 years,” he said. “They put us out to pasture on Friday and we won Friday. Big night for us. Big night for them. I would have put Roseanne after us. Use us just to launch shows, if nothing else.”
Last Man was ABC’s second-highest-rated comedy behind Modern Family, averaging, in its sixth season, an impressive 6.41 million live viewers.
ABC canceled the series in early May — sparking a boycott and backlash — after six successful seasons, in which it was nominated for two Primetime Emmys. The cancellation inspired a viral Change.org petition, which has collected more than 410,000 signatures. Speculation swirled for months over reports that 20th Century Fox and later CMT would become the new network home for Last Man.
In May, ABC Entertainment President Channing Dungey defended her decision to cancel the show, citing business and scheduling conflicts. ABC later said Allen’s conservative political views were not part of the decision.
Allen played conservative Mike Baxter, the father of three girls and a sporting goods store marketing executive. The actor told MacDonald that he always wanted his Last Man character to “push boundaries” like All in the Family’s Archie Bunker was famous for.
“I always wanted Last Man Standing to be like Archie Bunker. Archie Bunker pushed boundaries, but Carroll O’Connor was not that guy at all. I am a version of that guy,” Allen said.
“But there is nothing more dangerous, especially in this climate, than a funny, likable conservative character,” the actor added. “He is mitigated on the show by a family of women who had a difference of opinions, but [Mike Baxter] was a likable guy and a principled guy about work and ethics and all this stuff, I think.”
Allen is currently headlining a new comedy tour, and recently wrapped up filming for Netflix’s new dark comedy film, El Camino Christmas, which is expected to be released in December.
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