Tim Allen’s sitcom “Last Man Standing” returned to television on Fox Friday night, after a 2016 cancellation by ABC. The ratings are in for Friday, and now, ABC is likely regretting their decision to cut ties with the comedy series.
Expectations weren’t high for the show, even with Allen’s fanbase and a grassroots push by conservative viewers. Many felt ABC canceled the show because of Allen’s outspoken conservative views, as the sitcom earned strong ratings for six seasons.
Adding to the ratings challenge was the show’s new network – Fox – which does not have as large a viewer base as ABC (except when it airs NFL games). In addition, Friday nights have never been a big ratings night, as viewers tend to be out instead of watching television.
That didn’t seem to matter to viewers, as “Last Man Standing” scored a huge rating win. Entertainment Weekly called it a “ratings surprise.” The Blaze called it a “ratings blowout.” And they aren’t wrong.
Not only was “Last Man Standing” Fox’s highest rated show of the night, it was the highest rated show on any network, period. It even beat out the shows on its old network, ABC.
The show had the most viewers for any Fox sitcom in seven years, that didn’t have an NFL game leading it. It scored 8 million viewers total, a fantastic number for a Friday night and scored a bigger audience than this week’s “Murphy Brown” premiere on CBS, which had far more publicity surrounding it.
It even trounced it competition running at the same time, including the season premiere of “MacGyver” over at CBS, which only managed five million viewers.
“Last Man Standing” debuted its seventh season on Fox Friday night, with the Tim Allen-led sitcom rocketing past its previous season numbers on ABC.
“Last Man Standing” averaged a 1.8 rating in adults 18-49 and 8 million viewers, airing at 8 p.m. By comparison, the Season 6 premiere on ABC drew a 1.1 rating and 6 million viewers, while that season as a whole averaged a 1.2 rating and 6.4 million viewers. In fact, the last time the series drew over 8 million viewers was back in its fourth season, and the last time it drew a 1.8 rating or better was in Season 2. It was also Fox’s most watched comedy on any night in nearly seven years, excluding NFL nights, and was by far the top-rated show of Friday night.
In this new clip from the show, Tim Allen celebrates the return of football season.
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