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May 7, 2018

The Return of ‘Last Man Standing’

After ABC dumped him, Fox is picking up Tim Allen’s hit sitcom for a seventh season.

One year ago, ABC canceled it’s hit series “Last Man Standing,” and we surmised it was due to star Tim Allen’s conservative political leanings both in real life and as the show’s lead character, Mike Baxter. “There’s nothing more dangerous, especially in this climate, than a funny, likable conservative,” Allen said after the shocking cancellation, though ABC of course insisted politics had nothing to do with it. Allen never gave up trying to get the show restarted, however, and it paid off — Fox is picking up the show’s season seven for the 2018-2019 season.

But this is no “Roseanne” — a show recently rebooted to appeal to Donald Trump’s supporters but without a truly conservative character. Allen has long been to the right of center, and thus has genuine appeal, while Roseanne Barr once ran for president on the Green Party ticket and her character espouses all sorts of leftist views.

There’s more to it. As Heather Moon notes at The Resurgent, “One of the things that makes ‘Last Man Standing’ such a fan favorite is its ability to make fun of the current political climate. Conservatives on the show certainly make fun of the liberals, but they also make fun of themselves. Matt Groening, creator of ‘The Simpsons,’ recently noted that people love to pretend they are offended see the recent flap over Apu], and this makes comedy much more difficult. However, in 2014, ‘Saturday Night Live’ creator Lorne Michaels explained that his show makes fun of conservatives more often because they actually have a sense of humor and can laugh it off. He explained that jokes aimed at liberals are too often taken personally, resulting in ‘offense’ as Groening noted, and making it very hard to make fun of liberals. ‘Last Man Standing’ is able to navigate jokes on both sides more easily, since the show does not tend to attract many liberal viewers.)”

In any case, it’ll be fun to see the Baxters back on television with a decent family comedy that resists the #Resistance.

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