In what is good but unsurprising news for ABC’s new series Last Man Standing, the comedy did well for it’s premiere last night, which saw the return of Tim Allen in a starring role on the small screen. Given the popularity of Home Improvement, added to Allen’s career in film since, a strong showing for Allen’s return to television was expected.

In the preview we posted for the series’ premiere yesterday, I mentioned an issue of Entertainment Weekly from 1994 that posted 44 million viewers for the episode of Home Improvement that aired the previous week. But those were the days when ABC’s only real competition was NBC and CBS (Fox is on the list but as you’ll see here, it’s unrepresented in that week’s Top 20). Sitcoms don’t typically come close to 44 million in this age of DVRs, TV on DVD and online streaming options, not to mention all of the competition presented by network and cable TV. Sure, Two and a Half Men took in 28.74 million viewers in its ninth season premiere last month, but a large portion of those viewers likely tuned in to see Ashton Kutcher join the show in the wake of Charlie Sheen’s departure last season. The series has since begun to settle back toward its normal numbers, taking in 15.9 million viewers for this week’s episode.

By today’s standards, Allen’s new comedy Last Man Standing did pretty good. According to Deadline, the series earned a 3.5/10 in adults 18-49, with 13 million viewers tuning in overall. Considering there was a baseball game on, not to mention CBS’ NCIS, added to the fact that the series premiered without a lead-in, this bodes really well for the series.

From what I’ve seen, Allen’s character is not all that unlike Tim Taylor, in his role as a husband, father and all around manly-man (except he has daughters instead of sons). In that respect, those who tuned in to see the Tim Allen they remembered and adored from ’90’s TV likely found what they were looking for, which could mean many of them will return for more next week.

Image ©ABC

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