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By Paul Meekin

“Last Man Standing” is reportedly on ABC’s chopping block. The three camera sitcom focuses on a conservative business owner  in a post-modern world, as he contends with new-age liberalism, politically correct politics, and the universal nature of being middle-aged as the whole wide world moves away from everything you thought to be true.

Reportedly hitting a ratings high in its sixth season (perhaps in correlation to the rise of President Donald Trump) it’s odd such a successful…and timely show would find itself on the chopping block. The show averages between 5-6 million viewers an episode, which is about on par with “Law and Order: SVU,” the current season of “Modern Family,” a little under “Game of Thrones,” and six times higher than Lena Dunham’s recently ended ‘Girls’.

But ratings can be misleading because it depends on who is watching. Demographics are important, especially in an age where terrestrial television ratings are an increasingly small part of a show’s revenue stream. A show like “Game of Thrones,” or even “Girls,” appeals to young people who are prone to buy the episode on iTunes, subscribe to HBO GO, and are generally more likely to engage with the show on a variety of platforms. Considering “Last Man Standing’s” target demo, my ageist postulation is that kind groundswell doesn’t exist for a show not at all targeted toward young folks.

Of course,  if you want to get snooty about it you could make a case that Tim Allen’s comments on Jimmy Kimmel regarding being a conservative in Hollywood landed the show in hot water.

There’s also the fact Tim Allen commands a hefty price-tag and as shows go on they become more expensive – though rumor has it the show has been a success in syndication, which is where the ‘real’ money is when it comes to network television.

…And the liberal arts education in me would be remiss if I didn’t point out I had to scroll through like 9 white people to get to the singular black actor on the show.

Regardless, there is a silver lining here; Tim Allen is (somewhat) relevant again, and judging by his appearance on Kimmel, isn’t afraid to speak his mind and voice unpopular opinions with a dose of humor and humility, which is how we come together as a society.

Allen was a stand-up comic first, actor second. These six years of his life have probably provided ammunition for a comedy special for the ages – one steeped in the insanity of Hollywood, television, public opinion, and conservative thinking.

So while Last Man Standing may be falling with style, it looks like Tim Allen himself is prone to soar.


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About The Author

Paul Meekin

Paul Meekin is a writer, editor, and critic of all things media. He'd prefer the government stay out of his wallet and out of his entertainment. He can be reached at @MeekinOnMovies for bookings and inquiries.

8 Responses

  1. I Don't Like Mondays

    “though rumor has it the show has been a success in syndication, which is where the ‘real’ money is when it comes to network television.”

    Syndication is where the real money is, but ABC gets none of it. The show is produced by 20th Century Fox and they have rights to syndication. ABC loves paying licensing to Fox. Coming to a TV near you will be ABC’s attempt to revive American Idol. Anyways, factor in that the show ranks 12th out of ABC’s scripted shows for the 18-49 demo and the decision from ABC seems to make business sense.

  2. Uncanny Sarah

    since the only show i watch on ABC is Agents of Shield I didn’t even know about this show until I came across it on Netflix. It’s a really decent show. The characters are well developed, but it’s been hard to tune into on the regular time slot. ABC tends to cancel their few good shows right out of the gate, (Conviction, Agent Carter) so I never tune in except for that one show. What young person is watching ABC for offal like dancing with the stars??? that’s some old people stuff right there, which is why i didn’t start teaching seniors how to live tweet. I was afraid we’d get more of that.

  3. Astro171

    I wasn’t aware there was a requirement for how many black people you had to have on a show. Don’t be fooled, this was cancelled because of liberal PC BS. End of story..

    • Kim Such

      I agree, I read on another page (not Libertarian) that it was due to the mainstream media being so liberal. It’s a great show and had so much to offer the middles (states and people) and since the rise of “other party alternatives” I would think it needed more exposure rather than cancellation. I only just got into this show this year and I think it def could’ve gotten much bigger.

  4. Scott D

    isn’t afraid to speak his mind and voice unpopular opinions with a dose of humor and humility”

    I wish he would have said “opinions unpopular with Hollywood liberals and audiences of late night talk shows”. His opinions are not unpopular in general.

  5. Clay Wuensche

    Since the untimely death of Jerry Doyle there has been a vacancy for a conservative Hollywood guy on the radio. Just sayin.

  6. Could 'Roseanne' Reboot Pick Up Where 'Last Man Standing' Fell Off?

    […] The cancellation of ABC’s “Last Man Standing” delivered a shockwave in many circl… primarily because it was a popular show with good ratings and a well-intentioned messaged regarding politics and family values – leading many to believe the show was cancelled for its conservative protagonist and Tim Allen’s openness about his own political views. […]

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