Fans of the Tim Allen-starring sitcom Last Man Standing have threatened a boycott of ABC after the network cancelled the conservative-friendly series last week despite strong ratings and critical acclaim.
Last Man Standing ran for six seasons on ABC before being cancelled on Wednesday. The sitcom centered on Allen’s Mike Baxter, a blue-collar marketing director for a sporting goods store and his relationship with his wife Vanessa (Nancy Travis) and his three teenage daughters (Molly Ephraim, Kaitlyn Dever, and Amanda Fuller).
The show was one of the few (if not the only) on broadcast television to appeal to conservative, family-oriented audiences; taken together with Allen’s own political conservatism, some Last Man Standing fans have accused Disney-owned ABC of cancelling the show for political reasons, particularly because the series drew relatively strong ratings in its Friday night time slot.
Over the weekend, fans of the show took to social media to call for a boycott of the network, while some urged other platforms like Netflix and CMT to pick it up.
— ✨💫AmericanKelli 💫✨ (@kshw5678) May 12, 2017
— HappyLifex2 (@HappyLifex2) May 15, 2017
My favorite show "Last Man Standing" has been cancelled by liberal ABC. I hope all 8.1 million viewers join #BoycottABC, I am. What a shame.
— Stacy Bolton (@sbolton20) May 14, 2017
— Jerad Sackuvich ® (@TheBlueRanger07) May 11, 2017
Representatives for ABC did not immediately respond to a request for comment about the reasons for the show’s cancellation. But a Deadline report this month suggested that the network, now responsible for the cost of producing the show at this point in its run, balked at the price tag.
Whatever the reason, fans were not yet ready to see it go.
At least a half-dozen petitions have been launched on Change.org to attempt to persuade either ABC or another network to give Last Man Standing new life. The most popular petition had already gathered more than 10,000 signatures as of Monday morning.
“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 cancelled,” wrote the petition’s creator. “The intent of this petition/boycott is to attempt to get ABC to renew the show. With that in mind, I will no longer be watching any ABC shows. I have cancelled the DVR settings for the other ABC shows that I regularly watch. If you want to help try to save Last Man Standing, I encourage you to do the same.”
Fans do have some precedent to be hopeful for a second-thought renewal. NBC executives this week “un-cancelled” the drama series Timeless after social media users pleaded and petitioned for the show to come back.
All previous seasons of Last Man Standing are currently streaming on Netflix.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum