Cancellation/renewal season can be a nerve-wracking time for TV fans whose shows aren’t ratings juggernauts. ABC has gone on a cancellation rampage that saw the end of the long-running Castle, and nothing on that network has felt too safe in the aftermath. Luckily, ABC has now given a couple of renewal orders as well. The latest is sitcom Last Man Standing, which will be back for a sixth season.
The comedy has averaged a rating of 1.8 in the 18 – 49 age demographic, according to THR. A 1.8 isn’t the most magnificent number for a show on one of the big networks in primetime, but it’s impressive considering its timeslot on ABC. Ever since Season 2 back in 2012, Last Man Standing has aired on Fridays at 8 p.m. ET. Fridays are generally considered death slots for series that are not fated to last very long, but Last Man Standing has survived on Fridays for years now.
Last Man Standing is the first half of an comedy hour that is closed by Dr. Ken, which was renewed for a second season. ABC evidently found a pairing that works to draw an audience on Friday nights.
A big part of the success of Last Man Standing has to be attributed to leading man Tim Allen. Allen was a sitcom veteran thanks to his time on Home Improvement, and the role of an outdoorsman who veers very sharply and vocally toward the right-wing has been a perfect fit for his brand of comedy. He carried the show past the 100-episode mark in Season 5, which has enabled Last Man Standing to be sold into syndication. Hallmark Channel now airs reruns of the series, but the renewal for Season 6 on ABC means that fans of Last Man Standing won't have to rely on repeats to get their laughs.
Interestingly, Last Man Standing has gone through some major shakeups and changes over the years that could have driven fans away if not handled properly. Season 2 featured a change in showrunner as Tim Doyle replaced Kevin Abbott as head honcho of the series. Additionally, the second season saw several roles re-cast for reasons ranging from creative differences to kids’ ages. The shakeups clearly worked considering how long Last Man Standing has lasted.
There’s no news yet of how many episodes will be ordered for Season 6 or when it will return to the airwaves. If ABC continues its trend from the past few years, however, we can expect upward of twenty episodes to premiere in late September or early October.
For a look at what shows weren’t lucky enough to get a renewal order, check out our list of shows that just got the axe. Take a look at our rundown of all the shows that have had their fates determined so far, and don’t forget to see our summer TV premiere schedule to figure out what you’ll be able to watch in the near future.