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The actor and stand-up comic vented his frustrations Tuesday while he was a guest on Norm Macdonald Live.
ABC canceled the series in early May after six seasons. ABC network president Channing Dungey said in May that the “ownership structure” of the series played a factor in the network pulling the plug and that Allen’s conservative views had nothing to do with it.
Allen, who played conservative Mike Baxter, the father of three girls, told Macdonald he didn’t buy it.
“I always wanted Last Man Standing to be like [All in the Family’s] Archie Bunker,” Allen said. “Archie Bunker pushed boundaries, but Carroll O’Connor was not that guy at all. I am a version of that guy. But there is nothing more dangerous, especially in this climate, than a funny, likable conservative character. He is mitigated on the show by a family of women who had a difference of opinions, but [Mike Baxter] was a likeable guy and a principled guy about work and ethics and all this stuff, I think.”
The show hailed from an outside studio, 20th Century Fox Television, which made it expensive for ABC to license. But Allen said it was a hit and could have been used to help other shows, such as the upcoming Roseanne reboot, which is also a multicam. (In its final season, Last Man Standing averaged a 1.7 rating in the adults 18-49 demo and 8.3 million viewers.)
“I have no idea why they did what they did,” Allen said of the network. “You couldn’t have handled this worse.”
He continued, “Second biggest show, [ABC] hadn’t won a Friday night in 15 years. They put us out to pasture on Friday and we won Friday. Big night for us. Big night for them. I would have put Roseanne after us. Use us just to launch shows, if nothing else.”
There was some talk of CMT, which found success with reruns of LMS, saving the series, but the Viacom-owned cable network also found the project to be too expensive and talks subsequently broke down. Allen gave an exhausted shrug when Macdonald brought that up.
Allen begins to talk about LMS at the 34:50 mark.
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