Production costs killed Last Man Standing, not politics

Credit: ABC
Credit: ABC /

ABC recently pulled the plug on Last Man Standing, with many of its fans saying the move is politically-rated. Actually, the decision is strictly business.

We’ve been getting news about a lot of television show cancellations as of late. One of the more surprising fatalities is ABC’s Last Man Standing, a Tim Allen comedy which has been on the network for seven seasons. The decision to cancel the show even came as a shock to Allen himself, who says as much on Twitter:

While Allen himself doesn’t suggest the move is political, many fans of the series are. Allen is well known as a conservative and a supporter of Donald Trump. Channeling their inner conspiracy theorists, these people are saying ABC is nixing the show because of Allen’s political views, and for no other reason.

Unfortunately for these theories, the real explanation is that it’s just business. Last Man Standing was doing well in the ratings, but this is a show that’s already six seasons in. You have to remember that the costs to produce a show only rise each year, especially when using name actors expecting large payouts.

THR also notes that Allen had also just finished up his contract with the series, and would have needed to negotiate a new one. It’s very likely he’d be pushing for more money. This heavy increase in the show’s budget probably didn’t help the show’s chances, as ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey confirms:

"“A large part of these jobs are managing failure, and we have made the tough calls and canceled shows that we would otherwise love to stay on the air. That’s the job. I canceled Last Man Standing for the same business and scheduling reasons that I canceled Dr. Ken, The Real O’Neals, The Catch and American Crime.”"

Although Allen supports Trump, he did say the show had a “Liberal staff”.

Dungey says the final nail in Last Man Standing‘s coffin was the network’s decision to pull comedies from their Friday night lineup. Thinking of those high costs in producing the show, it seems ABC didn’t want to take the gamble on trying it on a different night.

I know a lot of people are fans of this now deceased series, but I assure you, the motive isn’t political. Six seasons for a sitcom is still something you can call a big success — think of all the ones which don’t make it to Season 2. Or even past the pilot, for that matter.

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Besides, Last Man Standing is far from the only casualty in this TV show killing spree. The longtime sitcom 2 Broke Girls was also recently axed, surprising many people, but there was obviously no political motivation there. This has just been a bad season for TV shows, and even those which have been around for years aren’t safe.