(WWJ) A traditional laugh track-style, every man sitcom starring Michigan’s own Tim Allen was canceled suddenly this week, and the sometimes controversial Allen shot back.
He fought fired with fire.
Even supermodel Chrissy Teigen got in on the act, mocking Allen by saying he’s perhaps “not the last man standing” and then firing back at people who objected to her Tweet.
There were questions about whether Allen’s show “Last Man Standing” was canceled because of ratings — which appeared to be solid — or because of his outspoken support of Republican policies and President Donald Trump.
Allen made waves in Hollywood during a recent appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live when he said “You gotta be real careful around here. You get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody else believes. This is like ’30s Germany.”
Fans applauded him for his lack of political correctness, but did it cost him his job?
Not so, said ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey during a conference call about the fall schedule. She said “Last Man Standing” was shuttled off the schedule for “business and scheduling reasons,” adding a big part of her job is to “make the tough calls and cancel shows we would love to have on.”
Dungey added that though “Last Man Standing” averaged 8.1 million viewers a week, the network decided not to continue with Friday night comedies. She conceded in answer to a later question that intangibles like political climate factor into network programming decisions.
“There’s a lot of news, and I think that people are definitely looking to television as a place they want to feel, they want to laugh, they want to cry … the mood of the country has told us that television is a little bit of an escape,” Dungey said. “What people want to do now is connect and experience and to feel … that did frame a lot of our development thinking this season,” she said.
Allen is still the voice of the lauded “Pure Michigan” travel marketing campaign.
One of his many supporters started a change.org petition demanding a return of the show. It garnered more than 210,000 signatures within 48 hours.
“It is a show that appeals to a broad swath of Americans who find very few shows that extol the virtues with which they can identify; namely conservative values,” the petition says.
“Last Man Standing was not just selling conservative ideals though, as some of the characters in the show are clearly of the liberal persuasion, yet the characters on the show all manage to get along and take care of one another, despite their politically opposed views. The show is about more than politics though, it is about family. In fact, politics is only a secondary part of the show, but one in which many Americans can readily identify.”
The cancellation comes amid a sea of nostalgia for 1990s sitcoms and upcoming reboots of shows including “Fuller House,” “Roseanne” and “Will & Grace.”