The announcement came amidst a slew of cancellations, including The Catch, Dr. Ken, and The Real O'Neals. However, many conservative fans felt that the ratings were strong enough to continue airing Last Man Standing, and the cancellation had political motives. A large number of these fans even called for a boycott of the network.
With the outcries from fans ringing loud and clear, ABC finally broke the silence about the decision. Channing Dungey, ABC's Entertainment President, defended her choice to axe she series.
“A large part of these jobs are managing failure and we’ve made the tough calls and canceled shows that we’d otherwise love to stay on the air,” Dungey said. “That’s the job. I canceled Last Man Standing for the same business and scheduling reasons that I canceled Dr. Ken, The Real O’Neals, The Catch and American Crime. And Last Man Standing was a challenging one for me because it was a steady performer in the ratings, but once we made the decision not to continue with comedies on Fridays, that was where we landed.”
When ABC revealed the Fall TV line-up this week, the scheduling definitely matched Dungey's comments. While Friday night was previously reserved for comedies, that's no longer the case. The studio is moving in the direction of its competitors, and placing more action/sci-fi oriented shows in those time slots.
Once Upon a Time, along with Marvel shows The Inhumans and Agents of SHIELD, will occupy Friday nights this TV season.
While this does make sense of the decision, it doesn't exactly bring the change fans were hoping for. After NBC cancelled Timeless, the outcry from fans caused the network to change its mind and renew the series. It doesn't look like the same is in store for Last Man Standing.