ABC Cancels Tim Allen’s Successful Comedy Last Man Standing and It Looks Like It was Because of His Conservative Beliefs

STUDIO CITY, CA - JANUARY 12: (L-R) CEO's of Fox Television Group Dana Walden and Gary Newman, actor/producer Tim Allen, and ABC Executive Vice President Vicki Dummer attend the 100th episode celebration of ABC's "Last Man Standing" at CBS Studios — Radford on January 12, 2016 in Studio City, California.

By Nancy Flory Published on May 16, 2017

ABC cancelled Tim Allen’s hit show Last Man Standing after six very successful seasons. ABC claimed they had to cancel the show as a business move, but many observers say the network wanted to take Allen’s outspoken conservative beliefs off the air. The cancellation has prompted boycotts and petitions from upset viewers.

‘Ahead of the Curve’

Last Man Standing was “ahead of the curve,” reported Variety. Allen played a “conservative-minded patriarch” who took on issues like Obamacare and environmental policy. Allen “poked fun at Hillary Clinton, political correctness, and the Left at large,” reported The Daily Wire’s John Nolte. Allen’s character Mike Baxter was popular, sympathetic and likable. But he held the “beliefs and values our entertainment and media elites want to tell us can only belong to Nazis.”

What’s more, viewers really liked the show. This season captured 8.1 million viewers. According to Deadline, Last Man Standing was the third most watched ABC scripted series overall. Only Grey’s Anatomy and Modern Family have done better. Some news outlets are reporting that ratings were down last year, but considering the most recent ratings, that appears not to be the case.

Petitions and Boycotts

Change.org and PetitionCongress.org posted petitions on their website calling for the show to remain on air. Change.org collected nearly 10,000 signatures overnight. “Last Man Standing is one of the only shows on broadcast television … that is not constantly shoving liberal ideals down the throats of the viewers,” the petition stated.

And sadly, that is likely the real reason the show has been cancelled. PetitionCongress.org said that Allen’s show stood out in a sea of ultra-liberal shows. They called for viewers to demand an investigation over whether the cancellation was political.

Others are calling for a boycott.

‘A Scheduling Decision’

ABC and the show’s producing studio 20th Century Fox often negotiated Last Man Standing‘s license fee. As Nolte explained, “After six seasons, the ABC broadcast network is contractually required to cover the cost of producing the show. Until now,
Last Man Standing had been produced and paid for by 20th Century Fox TV before being licensed for broadcast to ABC.”

One speculated reason for ABC’s refusal was that Allen’s salary was so high. However, ABC’s senior vice president Jori Arancio commented to Fox News that “This was a scheduling decision.” No other comments were provided.

Last Man Standing‘s ratings for a Friday night 8:00-8:30 PM time slot were stellar. Deadline said the show’s earned its time slot with 6.4 million regular viewers in the adults 18-49 demographic. Also, while most returning shows were down year-to-year 20-30 percent, Last Man Standing was essentially flat.

Strangling the Golden Goose

Only one explanation makes sense of “ABC’s strangling of a proven golden goose like Last Man Standing,” said Nolte.

ABC is owned by Disney, a “rabidly left-wing company,” in Nolte’s description. Disney is run by Bob Iger, a big fan of Bill and Hillary Clinton, he notes. Iger killed a successful miniseries on 9/11 because it lightly criticized Bill Clinton’s handling of Osama bin Laden.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker agreed. He tweeted to Allen: “Looks like @ABC is playing politics with your show despite decent ratings. Sad.”

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  • Christian Cowboy

    I hope someone picks this show up. It was entertaining in a time when so many shows are not.

  • Gary

    If ABC does not want to continue its business association with Tim Allen, they don’t have to. Business transactions should be voluntary. Maybe another network will want to broadcast the show.

  • Katered

    Hope that another network picks up this show!! Fox, Hallmark, USA network hope you pick up where ABC/Disney dropped the ball.

  • You know, ABC has the right to not broadcast what they don’t like.

    The viewers also have the right to not watch a network that they don’t like.

    Goodbye, ABC!

    • azsxdcf1

      AGREED! Goodbye ABC! Oh, and GOODBYE those who advertise and support ABC

  • Johnny Bennett

    It’s always amazing to me that conservatives get their panties in a wad when something doesn’t go their way. But when others want equality then they are told to shut up and get over it.

    The world has finally gotten sick and tired of the conservatives dictating their beliefs onto everyone else. And again isn’t it amazing when liberals say something that conservatives don’t like….then they are “shoving it down our throats” but when they have something to say they are being persecuted.

    The real issue here is that conservatives do not like to be treated the way they have treated liberals for years. The world is changing and there are more liberals than conservatives. Thank God!

    I guess those who will miss LMS can go watch The 700 Club.

    • Ken Abbott

      It’s always amazing to me that progressives get their panties in a wad when something doesn’t go their way (e.g., the 2016 presidential election). But when others want equality then they tell them to shut up and get over it (the 2008 presidential election).

      Isn’t it amazing when conservatives say something that progressives don’t like (especially with religious themes)…then they are “shoving it down our throats,” but when anyone objects to what progressives say they shriek “bigot” or “fill-in-the-blankophobia” or scream about microaggressions.

      I guess those who will miss “The Real O’Neals” can always go watch whatever Lena Dunham or Chelsea Handler coughs up this week, or anything else that constitutes 99% of broadcast and cable television “entertainment.”

      • Johnny Bennett

        LOL. Thank you for confirming my comments.

        In the world of conservatives there is only one way…their way. There’s no room for equality and no other beliefs are allowed. And if you have a different view or opinion then you are wrong and there needs to be laws to stop your opinions. Fortunately the tide is turning and people are getting fed up with that type of thInking.

        So keep spewing that rhetoric. It helps my cause so much more than it helps yours.

        Have a blessed day!

        • Ken Abbott

          Reading comprehension not your strongest skill set?

        • Louise C

          What laws can stop your opinion? What rights don’t liberals have?

        • Gary

          The God of the Bible is not a liberal. Far from it. The truth is, liberals and conservatives don’t want the same laws, the same morals, or the same society. They will never be happy living in the same country because the laws will always favor one side or the other. Eventually, there will be a civil war.

          • Johnny Bennett

            It has been my personal experience that conservatives (and your experience may be different) are quicker to judge people who do not share the same beliefs as they have. It has also been my experience that conservatives want to force their beliefs upon society.

            As a gay man, who holds his husband’s hand walking in the park, I have heard time and time again that I am just shoving my “lifestyle” down peoples’ throat and that people shouldn’t be subjected to “that.” Really??? And what about heterosexual couples…the same argument can be made for their actions. Aren’t they “shoving it down my throat” when they hold hands in public?

            The beauty of this country is we have a Constitution that was written for EVERYONE…not just the Conservatives and not just for the Liberals…but for EVERYONE. You get to have your religions beliefs and I get to have mine. And the Constitution protects both of our rights to those beliefs. It also goes a step further and states the Government is not allowed to sanction one religion over another. Yours doesn’t trump mine and mine doesn’t trump yours. Our religious beliefs in the eye of the Constituion are EQUAL.

            And for years, the Conservatives managed to marginalize LGBT People. They have made the argument that we are less than and were no better than pedifiles and rapists. And even put laws into place that would criminalize who we are and who we loved. And when we made the argument we were being persecuted we were laughed at even more.

            Times have changed (thank God). The majority of people are seeing just how discriminatory LGBT People were being treated and they are as tired of it as we are. Slowly things are changing. And as more and more changes happen, Conservatives are loosing the stronghold they once had. And guess what….they do not like how they are being treated any more than we liked the way they were treating us. And the arguement of the day is, “religious persecution”. Well what about my religious beliefs that were being persecuted for years…they didn’t seem to matter back then.

            Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself. He didn’t say love ONLY the neighbor who has the same beliefs as yourself. He didn’t say love only the heterosexual people. He didn’t say love only the “Christians”.

            His message was very simple…LOVE EVERYONE! Jesus would be considered far more liberal than conservative. The Conservatives of his day crucified him…it wasn’t the liberals who crucified him.

            So if you want to be upset with ABC, be upset. Stop watching shows on ABC. That is your choice. But attacking the other side is not going to change things…in fact it will only make them stand stronger.

            Now that I went way off topic…and I apologize, I would challenge each of you to walk a mile in the shoes of someone that is gay. Honestly walk in their shoes. Let go of your preconceived ideas about gay people long enough to see just how little of a difference there is between you and them.

            I have raised 3 children of my own and 2 step children. I have a mortgage and pay bills just like you. I pay taxes just like you. We had homework issues with our teenagers just like you. We go grocery shopping just like you. We can cook dinner after a long day at work just like you. We even go to church just like you; and our Constitution protects my church just like it protects yours.

            Walk that walk. Do what Jesus teaches…LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR. And if that’s too much to ask, then you might want to drop the label of “Christian” to identify yourself. Christian by definition is to be Christ-like and follow His teaching. Loving your neighbor as yourself was His first Amendment. And from what I’ve studied in the Bible, I do not recall the chapter and verse condoning treating anyone as less than whose beliefs were different than those of yourself.

            May God bless each and every person of this world!

          • Nancy Flory

            Hi Johnny,
            Thanks for being so transparent. You are absolutely right that Jesus said love your neighbor as yourself and “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matt. 5:42-44). Interestingly, most people think of Jesus as a pacifist or simply loving. He does love all of us – but he was also clear that he hated sin as his Father hated sin. We have to divorce the sin from the sinner, in essence. Love the sinner, hate the sin. He told the adulterous woman to, “go and sin no more.” He also said “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” Most people do not know that verse (Matt. 10:34).
            Sadly, most people are not willing or capable of doing this. It is difficult. But while we must avoid sin in the Bible, and we can “judge others by their fruit” (actions), we are nonetheless told to love them as we would love ourselves and not put our judgment on them in place of God’s. It is only God’s place to judge.
            I’ve been very blessed in that I love people I disagree with. It is possible. I don’t have to say a word, just live my life as Christ wants me to, listen to Him when He tells me to say/do something and other than that, let it go.
            I pray that you will find God wrapping His arms of love around you. He loves you incredibly. I will also pray that He will draw you to Himself, that you may know the peace that passes all understanding. Follow His Word and find everything you ever wanted. Unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness, peace – I could go on. May you know just how much you are loved.
            God bless,
            Nancy

        • Katered

          What is your cause?

    • Autrey Windle

      Pardon me, but you are a partisan blind person to ignore the facts.

    • Katered

      Actually since the media is 95% liberal (e.g. the connections between CBS, ABC and the previous White House are nepotistic.) Only 1/12 of all professors are conservative on University campuses in the U.S. The situation is so lopsided in academia that liberal Prof. Cornell West (Princeton, Harvard) and liberal Prof. Jonathan Haidt (NYU) are reaching out to conservatives. Conservatives have been marginalized not liberals.

  • Charles Burge

    I haven’t watched any situation comedies at all since roughly 20 years ago. I don’t feel like I’ve been missing anything either.

    • Autrey Windle

      Last Man is perhaps the last of the g-rated sitcoms. It is no wonder it was consistently in the top 2 of ratings; it is actually hilarious. What is a wonder is that a network CEO could be so blatantly politically biased that she is allowed to put so many people out of work for doing such a good job for her bosses and still keep her job.

  • Roberto Deramo

    Did anyone else catch the photo caption?

    “FOX” CEO’s, an “ABC” star and producer, an “ABC” Executive Vice President all celebrate the 100th episode of an “ABC” show….. at “CBS” studios????

  • Jeff U.

    Seems to me that if this is truly a viable product, there will be demand somewhere for it. Networks will (or have) brought back American Idol, Roseanne, Will & Grace, Arrested Development, and other shows due to the dearth of new ideas. This show could not have asked for better publicity than what ABC just gave them!

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