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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