The “Last Man Standing” revival, much like its cancellation, can’t hide from the stench of politics.
Fox announced late last week that it was picking up the Tim Allen-helmed comedy after ABC cancelled it last year, and the move had much to do with “Roseanne” as it did to do with its star.
“Everyone took a good hard look at the success of ‘Roseanne,'” Fox TV CEO Dana Walden told reporters Monday. “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.”
“Last Man Standing” was canceled in 2017 after six seasons on ABC, a decision that Allen, one of the few outspoken Republicans in Hollywood, claimed was a personal attack.
Last year, the 64-year-old actor compared being conservative in Hollywood to living in Nazi Germany.
“You’ve gotta be real careful around here,” he said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
“You get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes. This is like ’30s Germany. I don’t know what happened. If you’re not part of the group, you know, ‘What we believe is right!’ I go, ‘Well I might have a problem with that.’ I’m a comedian, I like going on both sides.”
“Roseanne,” which similarly follows a working-class conservative white family, was revived earlier this year to wildly successful early ratings and praise from President Trump himself.
Tuesday’s episode of the show was the No. 1 program in primetime among adults 18-49 and ticked up in Nielsen overnight ratings.
“We were emboldened, I would say, by the performance of ‘Roseanne,'” Walden said.
“And that certainly made us think that this is a really good opportunity, that for broadcast viewers a beloved star in a really funny multi-cam that has, again, a little bit easier entry point than a serialized comedy was a good idea. And, you know, ‘Roseanne’ certainly confirmed that.”
Co-chair Gary Newman also argued that Allen’s personal politics were never “a big feature of the show,” which he said “never delved deeply” into current events.
“It’s a funny show and audiences responded to it,” he said.
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