- Associated Press - Monday, May 14, 2018

NEW YORK — Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing,” canceled last year by ABC, is being resurrected by Fox next season because it’s a “great comedy” and not as a conservative statement, Fox executives said Monday.

Some fans may be drawn to the family sitcom because of Allen’s personal political views, but they “aren’t really a big feature of the show,” Fox Television Group executive Gary Newman said. “We just think it’s a really funny show” with general appeal, he said in announcing the network’s 2018-19 schedule with fellow chairman and CEO Dana Walden.

The success of the rebooted “Roseanne” on ABC emboldened Fox to revive “Last Man Standing,” which is produced by its studio, but the decision was already in the works, Walden said. The network needed to find the right spot for it, she said.

Allen is a conservative who went to President Donald Trump’s inauguration, has suggested that his politics may have played a role in ABC canceling the popular series after six seasons in 2016. His character, Mike Baxter, was also conservative, and Allen described him once as “Archie Bunker with a college education.”

Roseanne Barr is also a Trump supporter, as is the title character of her show, but “Roseanne” also includes other political voices.

Among Fox’s new shows is “The Cool Kids,” a comedy about rebellious friends in a retirement community, with stars including David Alan Grier, Martin Mull and Vicki Lawrence.

Walden said that after a five-season run by “Brooklyn Nine-Nine,” the network didn’t have the right place to put it, so canceled the Emmy-nominated show. But Fox was aware others were interested in the show and is “happy” it found a home on NBC, she said.

The network and producers went to last-minute extremes to keep “Lethal Weapon” in the lineup, bringing Seann William Scott (“American Pie”) onboard to co-star with Damon Wayans. Scott replaces Clayne Crawford, reportedly fired because of repeated outbursts on the set.

Fox and other broadcast networks are presenting their new schedules to advertisers in New York this week. Fox hopes for a boost next season with the addition of pro football on Thursday nights. The fourth-place network can use the help, with viewership down 17 percent this season.


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