About a year after it was canceled at ABC, “Last Man Standing” is in the early stages of being revived — this time at FOX.
Per various reports, star Tim Allen has signed on to a seventh season of the show, which was produced by FOX’s sister studio (for now) 20th Century Fox TV. It’s the second attempt to revive “Last Man Standing”; CMT (which airs reruns of the series) entered talks with 20th last year but couldn’t make a deal work financially.
ABC dropped the show after six seasons last year, despite “Last Man” still earning solid ratings on Fridays. The network cited the rising costs of the show — which it would have been obligated to pay more of while 20th Century Fox earned back-end profit — and a decision to move away from comedy on Friday nights as the primary drivers of its decision.
Allen has also said his conservative politics played a role in the cancellation, which ABC has denied.
There’s also some irony in the potential revival. Disney, which owns ABC, is bidding to acquire 20th Century Fox TV along with other assets from parent company 21st Century Fox, while the FOX network would remain part of a smaller 21st Century Fox. The deal isn’t likely to close before the end of 2018.
Thus if “Last Man Standing” makes it back on the air and sticks around past the 2018-19 season, FOX could end up paying a license fee to Disney for the show.
Negotiations for the show are in the early stages; other cast members and producers of the show haven’t signed on yet.
As for its fit on FOX, the network currently doesn’t have any multi-camera sitcoms on its schedule and only one show (“The Mick”) that could really be called a family comedy. It does, however, have several pilots that could check either box in contention for next season.