OK, Fox's new comedy direction is becoming a lot more clear. A day after canceling three comedies that fell under the goofy and high-concept category, the network has rescued Tim Allen's conservative-leaning, traditional family comedy Last Man Standing.
The sitcom was formerly on ABC, where it anchored Friday nights for six seasons. But ABC opted to cancel it despite it being the network's most-watched comedy after Modern Family. The decision to cancel it brought the ire of conservative and Republican groups, who accused ABC of kicking it out because of its conservative values. ABC said the decision was made over issues concerning scheduling and licensing fees.
The move to Fox makes sense for the network since its corporate sibling studio, 20th Century Fox Television, produces the series. Additionally, even if Last Man Standing brought over just half of its 6.4 million viewers it averaged on ABC, it would instantly become Fox's most-watched live-action comedy with ease, and just a little behind The Simpsons' 3.6 million average audience. Fox has had immense trouble establishing comedy on its network in recent years, so this is already a big win.
Tim Allen responded to the news by — what else? — invoking a really weird baseball metaphor. "Team LMS was in the sixth inning, ahead by four runs, stands were packed and then for no reason, they call off the game. 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."
Fox spent most of yesterday slashing its comedy roster, saying goodbye to Brooklyn Nine-Nine, The Last Man on Earth and The Mick. The network has already picked up the sitcoms Cool Kids and Rel, as well as the dramas Proven Innocent and The Passage.
This isn't the first time Fox and ABC have switched shows. Last year, ABC scooped up American Idol after Fox decided ti drop it.