'Last Man Standing': Tim Allen Was Blindsided by ABC Cancellation

As the Last Man Standing revival premiere approaches, Tim Allen is reminiscing about the show's sudden cancellation on ABC, which he said was something like a death in the family.

Allen will return to his role as Mike Baxter next week after a long year away. Last Man Standing was canceled by ABC back in May of 2017, leaving many fans, and Allen himself sorely disappointed. This year, Fox stepped in to remedy that by picking the show back up where it left off. While everything has worked out for the best now, Allen still recalls that cancellation vividly, as he said in an interview with Parade last week.

"I've had sudden deaths in my family and, for some strange reason, it reminded me of that, where you had no warning," he said. "Everything was going quite well. It seemed like the network was very happy with us and we were doing our job [ratings-wise] on the night as required."

As far as Allen remembers, the decision to end the show came out of nowhere, and seemed to have been made late in the game. At that point, Last Man Standing had already aired for six seasons, which is more than many TV shows can hope for.

"I've been in the network business for quite a while, and we were very big team players, everybody on the set was," Allen said. "It seemed everything was fine. It was a late decision as far as I can remember. You usually know sometime in April or May, but it wasn't until sometime in June that they really made it. It was just odd."

As for what happened next, Allen said it was just a natural response. The actor lashed out at ABC, and held onto his hope for a revival, which he has now gotten.

"It just didn't feel like the patient had died," he said of his sitcom. "That's what I kept saying to people. To use an odd metaphor, I said, 'I kept a pulse going, I kept checking in on the hospital room. I sat by the bedside.' I thought, This is still an interesting show to me, because it was just funny."

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Still, along the way Allen got himself into trouble through his defense of the show. In an interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, he said that being a conservative voice in Hollywood is "like 1930s Germany. You gotta be real careful around here, you know. You'll get beat up if you don't believe what everybody believes." He was criticized for the comment, which many believed belittled the experience of actual Holocaust survivors.

Last Man Standing returns on Friday, Sept. 28 at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.