Fox has picked up ABC castoff Last Man Standing, the family comedy starring Tim Allen that was canceled last spring after six seasons.
The series, which stars Allen as Mike Baxter, a married father of three girls trying to "maintain his manliness," was the subject of protests when ABC pulled the plug, as fans claimed the network was punishing Allen for his conservative political stance. ABC denied it, and instead blamed higher costs. The Disney-owned network has since revived Roseanne, whose star Roseanne Barr is an avowed Trump supporter, to ratings success.
Last Man was never beloved by critics, but the comedy was a solid performer, averaging 8.3 million viewers with delayed viewing counted in its final season and ranking as ABC's No. 2 comedy behind Modern Family.
“Team LMS was in the sixth inning, ahead by four runs, stands were packed and then for no reason, they call off the game," said Allen in a statement, alluding to ABC's cancellation. "It leaves you sitting in the dugout, holding a bat and puzzled. Now we get the news from Fox that it’s time to get back out on that diamond – hell yes, I’m excited! When I heard the offer to create more episodes of Last Man Standing, I did a fist pump so hard I threw my back out. I could not be more grateful for the fans who wrote petitions and kept up the passion and incredible support for the show."
Fox says original cast members Nancy Travis, Jonathan Adams, Amanda Fuller, Christoph Sanders and Jordan Masterson will also return. It did not say whether the show will return in the fall or later next season, nor did it say how many episodes would be produced, although a full season of 22 installments is expected.
Fox's sibling 20th Century Fox Television studio owns the series, a big factor in the decision to revive the series, which has aired 130 episodes. (Ironically, the studio is due to be acquired by Disney). To make room, Fox canceled Brooklyn Nine-Nine, angering fans of that NBC-owned series, along with The Last Man on Earth and The Mick.