On Wednesday, Deadline reported ABC had announced it would not be renewing the right-leaning conservative sitcom “Last Man Standing,” despite the show having a devoted following and solid ratings. Now, conservatives are alleging the decision was based purely on politics and not the quality of the show.
According to Deadline, “Last Man Standing” was ABC’s “second most watched comedy this season with 8.1 million viewers in Live +7, only behind flagship Modern Family (8,7 million). It was the third most watched ABC scripted series overall behind Grey’s Anatomy and Modern Family.”
“Last Man Standing” starred comedian Tim Allen, an outspoken Hollywood conservative, and its comedy often reflected traditional American values, although several characters on the show presented liberal views.
Deadline’s description of the show is accurate and telling: “With a central character who is a political conservative and devout Christian adhering to traditional American values, the blue-collar comedy appeals to viewers in the Heartland, a constituency that helped elect Donald Trump as president and has been energized post-election as evidenced by the ratings success of new USA drama Shooter.”
Since the news broke about “Last Man Standing,” many conservatives have alleged ABC canceled the comedy because of its conservative leanings.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) said ABC is “playing politics.”
“Looks like @ABC is playing politics with your show despite decent ratings. Sad,” wrote Walker on Twitter.
— Scott Walker (@ScottWalker) May 11, 2017
Writing for the conservative publication the Daily Wire, John Nolte said in an article about the cancellation, “No one better understands the power of popular culture than those who work in it. They know that if even one is allowed to get through, a Path to 9/11, a Last Man Standing, a Duck Dynasty, a Passion of the Christ, a 13 Hours, a Fox News, that it must be crushed, toxified, or memory-holed out of the fear that those brainwashed by popular culture might discover another side to the story. And then there is the intolerable risk that a success might breed more of them.”
In an article for CBN News, Dan Andros concluded a particularly important point, “Whatever the reason, it certainly doesn’t make much financial or business sense. The answer may never be made fully clear, but if there is a legitimate reason ABC has yet to provide it.”