On Friday, Fox officially announced it was bringing back Tim Allen’s sitcom, Last Man Standing, a year after it was canceled by ABC. Now, Fox executives are speaking out about why they made the decision to revive the show. And it turns out the huge ratings of the new season of Roseanne had a lot to do with it.
“Everyone took a good hard look at the success of Roseanne,” Fox TV group co-chair and CEO . “It reminded us we have a huge iconic star in our Fox family in Tim Allen. And we have been talking to Tim through the year. So yeah, we were emboldened by the performance of Roseanne.”
Walden said Fox executives thought Roseanne’s success showed that a “beloved star” would be an “easier entry point” to get new viewers than testing something new.
But she elaborated that it wasn’t just Roseanne that made them jump at the chance to bring back Allen’s show. “We always felt like ABC didn’t really prioritize Last Man Standing. We always wondered how it would do if it was given a better opportunity and prioritized more in terms of a network’s agenda,” she said.
When the show was initially canceled, conservative fans accused ABC of nixing the show because Allen is a Republican. But Fox TV group co-chair and CEO Gary Newman told reporters he doesn’t think the show was canceled because of politics, but rather because of the business side of things. Last Man Standing was produced by Fox, which meant ABC had to pay Fox to run the show.
“Tim’s personal politics are not a big feature of the show and if you were to talk to Tim he would say [his character] is a centrist and the show never delved deeply into politics,” Newman said. “We think it’s a funny show and audience responded to it… and we thought there was an opportunity there for us particularly after adding Thursday Night Football.”