ABC decided not to renew the show “Last Man Standing,” a half-hour sitcom that had been a Friday night anchor for the network for the past six seasons, even though it had seen solid ratings and a limited year-to-year decline in viewership.
As reported by Deadline, the reason for the cancellation being cited by the network is the cost, focusing specifically on the salary required by the show’s star, Tim Allen.
Previous seasons were produced by 20th Century Fox and licensed to ABC. The arrangement was scheduled to change for the seventh season, a point where ABC would be responsible for bearing the costs of production.
While ABC may have had options for negotiating their share of the costs with 20th Century Fox, the network choose instead to simply cancel the show.
The show saw strong some day viewership and often won its timeslot. When the final episode of season six aired, over 6.4 million viewers in the coveted 18-64 demographic tuned in to see the show.
Some may consider ABC walking away from the show a risk based on its ability to function as an anchor and often win its timeslot. However, 20th Century Fox will also be affected since it had previously syndicated the show, with episodes airing on CMT, with much success.
“Last Man Standing” featured Allen as Mike Baxter, a political conservative and family man with traditional Christian values. The show often showcased that viewpoint in regards to the jokes it decided to tell, regularly poking fun at the political left, as well as some of the lessons the characters learned.
The cancellation had many fans of the show expressing their disappointment over social media.
At this time, the cancellation of “Last Man Standing” is the most notable change to the network’s veteran show line up. The sitcoms “The Middle” and “Modern Family” have both been renewed along with popular dramas “Grey’s Anatomy,” “How to Get Away with Murder,” and “Scandal.”