Appearing on Norm Macdonald Live, the actor and comedian expressed his frustrations and gave his own explanation for why his show got the axe despite its good ratings. In his opinion, it came down to his character, Mike Baxter, being politically conservative.
“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, likeable 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.”
“I have no idea why they did what they did,” Allen said, but blamed ABC. “You couldn’t have handled this worse.”
Allen 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.”
ABC has denied the character’s conservative leanings played a part in the show’s cancellation. In May, the network said that the decision came down to the series’ “ownership structure,” referring to the fact that it was produced outside the network by 20th Century Fox Television, making it expensive for the network to license.
When Macdonald brought up the fact that CMT had been interested in picking up the show, but found it too expensive, Allen simply shrugged.