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In one of the most obvious decisions of the broadcast season, Fox has renewed the Tim Allen comedy Last Man Standing. The pickup is for the series’ eighth season overall and the second on Fox.
“Hard to believe Last Man Standing hits 150 episodes this week, and it gets better with another upcoming season at Fox,” Allen said Thursday in a statement. “Great news for all of us who are creating these stories and working our pants off to make you all laugh. It’s another big high five to the legions of loyal fans who have faithfully kept us front and center and huge on the radar. Thanks to our family at Fox, who continue to make us feel so at home. Man, if we keep this up, they might have to call our show Last Man Unable to Stand.”
Last Man Standing was considered a slam dunk to return at Fox given the newly independent network’s focus on broad multicamera comedies that appeal to middle America and broad procedurals (like the already renewed The Resident and 911).
The show has a fascinating backstory that continues to be illustrative of the nature of broadcast television. Last Man Standing is produced by 20th Century Fox TV and aired its first six seasons on ABC, with the Disney-owned broadcaster having to pay a licensing fee to 20th TV to air it. ABC canceled the series two years ago after the price of the show continued to escalate (star Allen commands a top fee) amid diminishing ratings returns.
A year later, Fox revived Last Man Standing for a seventh season — an easy decision for the network given that the series was, at the time, owned by its studio counterpart. Now ABC actually owns it, as 20th TV was among the assets transferred to Disney as part of its $71.3 billion Fox asset buy. And Fox will have to pay Disney a licensing fee for Last Man Standing.
“Last Man Standing roared out of the gate on Fox and has maintained its ratings dominance ever since,” said Fox Entertainment president Michael Thorn. “Much of that credit goes to the incredibly funny and talented Tim Allen, not to mention Nancy [Travis], Hector [Elizondo] and the rest of the show’s great cast. We’d like to thank [executive producers] Kevin [Abbott], Matt [Berry] and the entire crew, along with our partners at 20th Century Fox Television, for overseeing one of television’s most popular comedies. We’d also like to congratulate them all on reaching 150 episodes — a milestone that’s well-deserved.”
Last Man Standing is Fox’s first live-action comedy to be renewed for the 2019-20 broadcast season. It joins the animated favorites The Simpsons, Family Guy and Bob’s Burgers, as well as the dramas 911 and The Resident, as new Fox Entertainment boss Charlie Collier begins to make his mark on the network after canceling the Marvel drama The Gifted and the multicamera comedy Rel. Still to be determined are the fates of Empire, Lethal Weapon, The Orville and Star and the rookies The Passage, The Cool Kids and Proven Innocent.
Keep up with the latest broadcast pilot season pickups, castings and series orders with The Hollywood Reporter‘s annual guide.
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