On the eve of the ABC Network presenting its upfronts (the fall TV schedule) in New York City the broadcaster is coming under fire from fans — a large contingent of those being conservative — over the announcement last week of the cancellation of “Last Man Standing”. The surprising announcement last Wednesday took many viewers by surprise, some of whom want to take action.
As I wrote about the announcement, despite good ratings there were sound financial reasons behind the decision. The network was taking over the production costs of an aging show from 20th Century Television. The show is already in syndication, with Fox receiving the majority of those rerun receipts. This means ABC would face high costs with little return.
That has not kept voices at bay — from both sides — suggesting ulterior reasons were behind the decision. Numerous conservative outlets declared it was anti-conservative red-washing by the network. Over at The Wrap it was suggested Allen was being punished over the exaggerated “controversy” of his Germany comments on a recent Jimmy Kimmel appearance.
Fans meanwhile have risen over the takedown of “Standing”. Even Gov. Scott Walker sent out his support of the program. Threats of ABC boycotts have spread across social media. A number of online petitions were started, with the largest, from Change.org, netting well over fifty thousand supporters so far.
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. Last Man Standing is one of the only shows on broadcast television, and the only sitcom, that is not constantly shoving liberal ideals down the throats of the viewers. And sadly, that is likely the real reason the show has been cancelled.
While a sign of passionate reactions these are not usually the most effective influencers upon an industry. Numbers, however, are recognized by the suits. If truly motivated to possibly rescue the show there are other effective methods likely to garner an executive’s glance.
If you may miss a broadcast of an episode record it on your DVR. “LMS” episodes are also available for streaming on Netflix, Hulu, and other similar platforms. Additionally, you can stream directly from the ABC.go site/app.
These are all recognizable outlets with measurable metrics for the producers. If there is enough interest seen on broadcast outlets there could be motivation for the production company to seek another network, or platform, for new episodes.