Fox Moves to Revive Tim Allen Comedy Series ‘Last Man Standing’

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ABC

The Tim Allen-fronted blue-collar comedy Last Man Standing may make Fox Broadcasting Co. its new network home after ABC abruptly canceled the successful series last year.

The possible series revival was first reported by Deadline:

I hear star and executive producer Allen has closed a deal to return. 20th TV is currently in conversations with other cast members as well as members of the series’ creative team, including producers, to come back. Two of the key Last Man Standing series regulars, Nancy Travis and Hector Elizondo, are tied to other multi-camera comedies at the moment. Travis stars in the upcoming Netflix comedy series The Kominsky Method while Elizondo is a lead of the pilot Guess Who Died, which is in contention at NBC.

Insiders caution there are still many deals to close and the show’s return is by no means a sure thing but there are promising signs that a seventh season is possible. Fox and 20th TV declined comment.

Allen took to Twitter on Thursday to praise those who raised their voices in protest after the highly-rated comedy wasn’t renewed for a seventh season by ABC.

“They heard all your voices people!! LMS just might be a reality. Keep it up. Who wants more ?” Allen tweeted.

Indeed, Last Man Standing was ABC’s second-highest-rated comedy behind Modern Family, averaging, in its sixth season, 6.41 million live viewers.

Allen played patriarch conservative Mike Baxter, the father of three girls and a sporting goods store marketing executive.

ABC canceled the series last May — a boycott and backlash quickly followed— 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 430,000 signatures.  

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, for his part, asserted that ABC — the current home of ratings juggernaut Roseanne, a much-beloved sitcom about a Trump-supporting blue-collar matriarch and her family — was threatened by having a funny successful show starring a conservative character.

“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.”

ABC placed the fantasy drama Once Upon a Time in the Friday time slot that Last Man Standing once dominated. Once Upon a Time was never able to draw nearly as many viewers as its time slot predecessor and will end after seven seasons.

While speculation swirled for months over reports that 20th Century Fox and later CMT would become the show’s new network home, it appears that Allen has helped close the deal.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson

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