Tim Allen may be the man of the house when “Last Man Standing” returns to broadcast television, but he won’t be a vocal Trump supporter — even though one reason his show is coming back is thanks to “Roseanne.”
At the Television Critics Association press tour Thursday, Fox CEOs Dana Walden and Gary Newman told journalists the producers behind the 20th Century Fox-produced comedy will not feature any specific indication as to who the main character voted for in the 2016 presidential election — at least, not yet.
“Right now, the producers’ plans are simply not to address whether he might be a Trump supporter,” Walden said. While Mike Baxter (Allen) is “clearly a conservative character” in outlook, the emphasis is meant to be on how he has a “centrist viewpoint.”
As the main character of “Last Man Standing,” Mike is a sporting goods store executive and the patriarch of a family of daughters, who often “vlogs” about his political and social views (which, yes, veer conservative).
Newman went on to explain the decision to revive “Last Man Standing” for Fox, which original network ABC canceled last year despite solid ratings.
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“We really had a desire to bring that show back because we really thought it was canceled too soon,” he said. “It was more about ABC wanting to program its Friday night with its own shows.”
But after Fox landed Thursday Night Football (which Newman deemed to be a valuable promotional opportunity to launch programming) and more importantly saw the success of ABC’s “Roseanne” relaunch, the time felt right for its return. Newman said “a strong family comedy with a strong point of view can play well in the middle of the country.”
He and Walden were also optimistic that “Last Man Standing” would pair well with upcoming new comedy “The Cool Kids,” starring David Alan Grier, Leslie Jordan, Vicki Lawrence, and Martin Mull.
“It’s a great show to combine it with. It happened organically,” Walden said.
“Last Man Standing” premieres this fall on Fox.