After six seasons on ABC, it seems that plans to bring the cancelled Tim Allen sitcom Last Man Standing to Country Music Television (CMT) has failed. After ABC cancelled the show last month, the show's producers at 20th Century Fox Television engaged in talks with the cable network CMT to save the series, much like how the network gave ABC's Nashville a new home after it was cancelled. A new report reveals that talks have broken down between CMT and the producers, and while it's possible the show could be shopped around elsewhere, it's most likely finished.
The Hollywood Reporter first broke the news a week ago that CMT was in talks with the sitcom's producers for an order that some sources claimed could be a shortened order, while others claimed could be 20-episode revival spanning multiple seasons of the TV sitcom. Insiders claimed that a deal would be unlikely at the time, because the veteran show has such a high price attached to it, and the show just proved to be too pricey for the cable network.
While this development most likely means the sitcom is cancelled, the cast and writing staff remain under contract until the end of June, but if a new home hasn't been found between now and then, Last Man Standing will be through after 130 episodes. CMT would have been the most likely home for Last Man Standing, since the cable network airs syndicated repeats of the program. The sitcom's cancellation itself was quite surprising to many, since it is still a solid ratings performer, despite airing on Friday nights, when most networks save shows they have lower expectations for. Last Man Standing averaged a 1.7 rating in the 18-49 demographic last year, with an average of 8.4 million viewers tuning in each week.
Last Man Standing debuted in the 2011-2012 TV season, eventually outlasting almost every other comedy series that debuted on the network that season, such as Suburgatory, Don't Trust the B in Apt. 23, Good Christian Belles, Man Up and Work It. The show also outlasted all of the drama shows that season, with the exceptions of Scandal, which will air its final season this fall, and the hit fantasy series Once Upon a Time. The series followed Mike Baxter (Tim Allen), the marketing director for an iconic outdoor sporting goods store. While Mike is king of the hill at work, he's the odd man out in a home that is dominated by women, namely his wife, Vanessa (Nancy Travis), and their three daughters, 22-year-old Kristin (Amanda Fuller), 17-year-old Mandy (Molly Ephraim) and 14-year-old Eve (Kaitlyn Dever). The cast also included Hector Elizondo, Christoph Sanders and Flynn Morrison.
ABC president Channing Dungey revealed at the network's upfronts that they ultimately decided to cancel the series because the network decided to move away from a comedy block on Friday nights, with the network also cancelling the other comedy series it was paired with, Dr. Ken starring Ken Jeong. The network president also stressed that Tim Allen's status as a longtime conservative Republican (he dressed up as President Donald Trump for this year's Halloween episode), had nothing to do with the cancellation. Tim Allen is one of the few prominent Republicans in Hollywood, comparing being conservative in this town to living in "30s Germany" in an interview. The actor had stated that he was "stunned" and "blindsided" by the cancellation of Last Man Standing, while 20th Century Fox Television's Howard Kurtzman stated they would explore opportunities to bring the series back, but, barring a last-second miracle, the series will not be back on the air.