It's been almost a full year since ABC abruptly announced the cancellation of Last Man Standing, the Tim Allen-led sitcom. To mark that anniversary, earlier today FOX announced that the show will be given a second life on their network this coming fall. Along with Allen, most of the show's original cast is expected to return.
Last Man Standing is Allen's first foray into sitcoms since Home Improvement ran from 1991-1999. The show follows the story of Mike Baxter, a sporting goods executive who juggles the responsibilities that come with his professional and family life. In addition to raising three daughters with his wife, Vanessa (Nancy Travis), Baxter struggles to maintain his rugged masculinity in "a world dominated by women."
Deadline reported the news that FOX would be absorbing the show for the upcoming 2018 fall season, which will pick up where it left off last year. "I did a fist pump so hard I threw my back out," Allen said about the news, adding that he "could not be more grateful for the fans who wrote petitions and kept up the passion and incredible support for the show." Allen may have also hinted at the news earlier this week when he tweeted that "A strong wind just filled our main sail."
News of Last Man Standing's cancellation last year came as a surprise, given that it was ABC's second-most watched sitcom behind Modern Family. Immediately after that announcement last summer, there was talk of the show moving to CMT, much like how the network added NBC's then-cancelled Nashville to its lineup back in 2016. It turned out that CMT didn't quite have the budget for it, and the show remained in limbo. However, FOX had also been eyeing Last Man Standing since it was cancelled last May, but couldn't find a way to work the multi-camera sitcom into its schedule.
It seems the network has made some room for it since then. The news comes just one day after FOX announced that it was cancelling three of its single-camera series, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Last Man On Earth, and The Mick. Along with the addition to Last Man Standing, it sounds like FOX has been looking to retool its overall lineup. The network has also ordered two new multi-camera sitcom pilots, and is currently developing a third with Rob Rosell and It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia co-creator Rob McElhenney.
Part of this decision may lie with the massive success of ABC's Roseanne revival, which showed that audiences are hungry for stories about everyday, middle-class families. Though the similarities don't just end there. Like Roseanne, Last Man Standing features a star who, like the character they portray, is not only an outspoken conservative, but also a vocal Trump supporter. That's such a rarity in the world of scripted TV that Allen himself has speculated that his political views might have been partly responsible for its initial cancellation.