ABC's 'Last Man Standing' to Get New Showrunner

Last Man Standing
Last Man Standing
 Randy Holmes/ABC

Mere weeks after Last Man Standing was granted a full season pick-up, the Tim Allen comedy is getting a new showrunner.

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Kevin Abbott, best known for running the WB's Reba, will likely take the reins at the 20th Century Fox-produced half hour about a manly man raising three daughters in a progressive world. Abbott would replace Emmy-winning Jack Burditt, who suffered a family tragedy earlier this fall and has asked not to return to the show. In Burditt's absense, deputy executive producers Marsh McCall and Andy Gordon have been shouldering his load.

For his part, Abbott's name resurfaced this development season when he sold another collaboration with Reba McEntire to ABC. The multicamera project, Malibu Country, centers on Reba, who divorces her cheating husband and moves her family from Nashville to Malibu and tries to reignite her singing career and keep her three kids grounded in a city of excess. 

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If Malibu ends up getting ordered to series, Abbott would run both shows, joining the likes of other multi-show showrunners Seth MacFarlane or Chuck Lorre. At present, he is negotiating to be let out of his committment at TV Land, where he serves as a consulting producer at Retired at 35. Assuming he can do so, Abbott will begin at Last Man Standing after Thanksgiving.

Heading into the fall, Standing was the recipient of both hefty marketing and high expectations care of its star Allen's reemergence on TV. Proof: the show was tasked with opening up a new night of comedy and drawing more male viewers to a network that historically skews female.

The series, which came out of the gate particularly strong with a 3.5 rating for its premiere in early October, has fallen in the weeks since. Still, in the first four weeks of its run, Allen's comeback vehicle has averaged 11.2 million viewers and a 3.2 rating among the coveted 18 to 49 demo, according to Nielsen.

Abbott, whose other credits include The Golden Girls, Hangin' with Mr. Cooper and Roseanne, is repped by CAA.

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