‘Last Man Standing’: 20th Century Fox TV will seek new home for Tim Allen comedy


Studio 20th Century Fox Television is looking for a new home for canceled Tim Allen comedy "Last Man Standing."

Speaking to Variety Thursday, studio presidents Jonnie Davis and Howard Kurtzman said that they were surprised by ABC's decision to pull the plug on the show.

"That's the one that's really an open sore right now," Davis said. Kurtzman added, "We really were expecting a pickup. The fact that we didn't get a pickup was a surprise and a disappointment. I think no one was more disappointed than Tim Allen, such a huge star with such a huge following.

But the series, which was ABC's second most-watched comedy last season behind "Modern Family," may not be dead. Asked whether "Last Man Standing" would be shopped to other networks, Kurtzman said, "We're starting to explore that. If it's not going to go forward at ABC, of course Jonnie and I are hopeful that we can find another home for it."

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Tim Allen out and about
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 26: Actor Tim Allen (L) and Jane Allen (R) attend the 25th Annual Elton John AIDS Foundation's Academy Awards Viewing Party at The City of West Hollywood Park on February 26, 2017 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for EJAF)
LAST MAN STANDING - 'Heavy Meddle' - When Eve's boyfriend, Rob (guest star Travis Tope), doesn't invite her to his parents' anniversary party, Vanessa feels that Eve should tell him how this makes her feel. But Mike disagrees and thinks it's better for Eve to not say anything. Meanwhile, Kristin and Ryan think it's beyond the airy Mandy and Kyle to find the hidden clues in an escape room, on 'Last Man Standing,' airing FRIDAY, MARCH 17 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EST), on The ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) NANCY TRAVIS, TIM ALLEN
LAST MAN STANDING - 'Take Me to Church' - Mike and Vanessa become increasingly worried their daughters don't attend church anymore, so they decide to take it upon themselves to make church more interesting for everyone involved. When Ryan has Kyle as his guest on his podcast, they don't expect their wives to hear their conversation, on 'Last Man Standing,' airing FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network. (Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images) NANCY TRAVIS, TIM ALLEN
LAST MAN STANDING - 'Take Me to Church' - Mike and Vanessa become increasingly worried their daughters don't attend church anymore, so they decide to take it upon themselves to make church more interesting for everyone involved. When Ryan has Kyle as his guest on his podcast, they don't expect their wives to hear their conversation, on 'Last Man Standing,' airing FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 24 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network. (Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images) TIM ALLEN
LAST MAN STANDING - 'A House Divided' - When Mike and Vanessa ask newlyweds Mandy and Kyle to tone down their constant displays of affection, Mandy agrees but only if her parents become more discreet in the way they express their feelings to each other. Meanwhile, Kristen gets Eve a gig playing at the Grill, but Ed wants to fire her after a lackluster performance, on 'Last Man Standing,' airing FRIDAY, JANUARY 20 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network. (Craig Sjodin/ABC via Getty Images) NANCY TRAVIS, TIM ALLEN
LAST MAN STANDING - 'Three Sisters' - When Mike and Vanessa turn down Eve's request for money to cover some recording equipment, Kristin jumps in and offers to front the bill. Mike later confronts Kristin for undercutting his parenting and giving money to Eve, and Kristin snaps back at him for always spoiling Mandy. Back at the Outdoor Man office, Kyle and Ed have an extremely awkward encounter that, in a strange way, brings them closer together. Later on at the Baxter home, dinner turns into disaster, as Eve, Mandy and Kristin argue about how unfairly their parents treat them. With everyone at odds, Mike and Vanessa come up with a plan to reunite the girls, on 'Last Man Standing,' airing FRIDAY, JANUARY 6 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network. (Kelsey McNeal/ABC via Getty Images) TIM ALLEN
LAST MAN STANDING - 'Explorers' - Mike is thrilled when he is offered to submit an artifact to a renowned museum but things get complicated when Ed admits that this is an honor he's wanted his entire life. Meanwhile, Mike and his poker buddies decide to go through their colonoscopy prep together; and the girls decide to have a slumber party reminiscent of old times, but things don't go as planned when Vanessa invites herself, on 'Last Man Standing,' airing FRIDAY, JANUARY 13 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EST), on the ABC Television Network. (Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images) TIM ALLEN
Actor Tim Allen on the sideline prior to an NFL football game between the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings in Detroit, Michigan USA, on Thursday, November 24, 2016. (Photo by Jorge Lemus/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 22: Actress Jane Hajduk and Comedian/Actor Tim Allen arrive at the Petersen Automotive Museum 22nd Annual Gala at the Petersen Automotive Museum on October 22, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Greg Doherty/Getty Images)
LAST MAN STANDING - 'Trick or Treat' - It's Halloween and the Baxter family is excited for their annual party, except for Mike who's reluctantly tasked with choosing the theme. In hopes of turning everyone against the holiday, Mike decides that maybe if the whole family has to dress up like each other they'll end up making fun of one another. Eve dresses up like Mandy and Mandy dresses down like Eve, Kristin and Ryan swap roles, and Mike shows up to the party as... Donald Trump!? The impersonating turns into bickering but in the end, the Baxters come together to support Vanessa as she learns that she's being laid off, on 'Last Man Standing,' FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Tony Rivetti/ABC via Getty Images) TIM ALLEN, JONATHAN ADAMS
LAST MAN STANDING - 'A New Place for One of Our People' - Having a difficult time supporting Eve's gap year, Mike gives her a hard lesson on surviving in the real world, but Eve's unexpected reaction throws Mike for a loop. Meanwhile, Kyle wants to give Mandy the best wedding gift imaginable, so taking inspiration from a story he read online, he works on turning a laser pointer into a car by way of some old-fashioned bartering, on 'Last Man Standing,' FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Tony Rivetti/ABC via Getty Images) TIM ALLEN
LAST MAN STANDING - 'Boyd Will Be Boyd' - Boyd is turning 10 years old, and sticking with the Baxter family tradition, Mike wants nothing more than to give him a shotgun and take him hunting. Kristin is all for it but Ryan has no interest in his son having a gun or harming animals. Meanwhile Kyle and Mandy's wedding preparations continue as Vanessa tries to convince Kyle to do a mother-son dance with her, on 'Last Man Standing,' FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Lisa Rose/ABC via Getty Images) TIM ALLEN
BURBANK, CA - JUNE 13: (L-R) Actors Richard Karn, Tim Allen, and President of SAG-AFTRA Foundation JoBeth Williams attend the SAG-AFTRA Foundation 7th annual L.A. Golf Classic Fundraiser on June 13, 2016 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)
PASADENA, CA - MAY 17: Comedian Tim Allen performs during his appearance at The Ice House Comedy Club on May 17, 2016 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Michael Schwartz/WireImage)
BURBANK, CA - MAY 02: (L-R) Actors Richard Karn, Kunal Nayyar and Tim Allen attend the 9th Annual George Lopez Celebrity Golf Classic to benefit The George Lopez Foundation at Lakeside Golf Club on May 2, 2016 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for The Lopez Foundation)
JAY LENO'S GARAGE -- 'Wolf in Sheep's Clothing' Episode 206 -- Pictured: (l-r) Tim Allen, Jay Leno -- (Photo by: Nicole Weingart/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 21: Tim Allen attends the Film Independent at LACMA presents Live Read of 'Thnk You For Smoking' and After Party at Bing Theatre At LACMA on April 21, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Araya Diaz/WireImage)
LAST MAN STANDING - 'The Shortcut' - In honor of Mike's 25 years at The Outdoor Man, Ed plans a surprise dinner for him and asks Joe (guest star Joe Leno) and Chuck to come up with the after-dinner speech. Also, Mandy decides that in order for her and Kyle to save money, they should move in with her parents after they're married, on 'Last Man Standing,' FRIDAY, APRIL 22 (8:00-8:31 p.m. EDT), on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Ron Tom/ABC via via Getty Images) TIM ALLEN, HECTOR ELIZONDO
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"Last Man Standing" faces an uphill climb in search of a new network. After six seasons, costs for the series are significantly higher than those for younger multi-camera comedies typically are. And the buying patterns of broadcast networks this development season showed little appetite for multi-cams among most of the Big Four.

Some streaming services have seen recent success with multi-cams, such as Netflix with "Fuller House" and "The Ranch."

And the studio heads are encouraged by the fan support that they've seen for the show since ABC confirmed its cancellation last week. "We know how passionate our fans are, and we're seeing that now," Davis said.

Political and social conservatives have been vocal in their disappointment over the show's end. Allen, its star and executive producer, is a Republican and a supporter of President Donald Trump.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, ABC entertainment president Channing Dungey denied that "Last Man Standing" was canceled because of Allen's right-leaning politics, and said that it was, instead, a scheduling decision. "Once we made the decision not to continue with comedy on Friday, it was just kind of that's where we landed," she said.

In its sixth season at ABC, "Last Man Standing" averaged a 1.2 rating and 6.4 million total viewers, according to Nielsen live-plus-same day numbers.

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