Published: Tue, May 15, 2018
Entertaiment | By Paul Elliott

Fox defends axing Brooklyn Nine-Nine and reviving Last Man Standing

Fox defends axing Brooklyn Nine-Nine and reviving Last Man Standing

For all of the talk and headlines about this renewal, Last Man Standing will be premiering during the dreaded Friday night slot.

No decisions have been made on the fates of the comedy "Ghosted", which premiered last fall, and the comedy "LA to Vegas", which premiered in January, Dana Walden, a co-chairman and co-CEO of the Fox Television Group, said on a conference call. The Tim Allen comedy will serve as a lead-in for the brand-new multi-camera comedy The Cool Kids.

"Obviously, I think everyone took a good hard look at the performance of 'Roseanne, '" she explained.

"Once we made the decision (about Friday) it limited the opportunities we had to schedule 'Brooklyn".

For the first time, football will occupy all of Fox's Thursday-night schedule throughout the fall and early winter.

Series not returning include the police comedy "Brooklyn Nine-Nine", which was canceled after five seasons and picked up by NBC; the post-apocalyptic comedy "The Last Man on Earth", which ran for four seasons; the fantasy police procedural "Lucifer", which ran for three seasons; the horror drama "The Exorcist", which ran for two seasons; and the comedy "The Mick", which ran for two seasons. But comic book fans will have something to tide them over - the network's X-Men drama The Gifted is returning, but moving to Tuesday nights before Lethal Weapon (with new lead Seann William Scott).

The "new" faces of Fox this fall will be familiar: Allen and Nancy Travis on "Last Man Standing;" Martin Mull, Vicki Lawrence, David Alan Grier and Leslie Jordan in "The Cool Kids" retirement home sitcom; and Lil Rel Howery ("Get Out", "The Carmichael Show") on "Rel".

Notably, a year later, ABC found a hit in its reboot of "Rosanne", starring Roseanne Barr, who is both a supporter of President Trump and plays one on the show. It had clocked an average of 8.5 million viewers on the Disney-owned network "with very little promotion", she noted. "And we have been talking to Tim through the year", she said. We tried to move Last Man Standing over past year when ABC decided not to move forward. It's a really amusing show ... "We just think it's a really amusing show" with general appeal, he said in announcing the network's 2018-19 schedule with fellow chairman and CEO Dana Walden. We always felt like ABC didn't really prioritize Last Man Standing. We always wondered how it would do if it was given a better opportunity and prioritized more in terms of a network's marketing agenda. "We were emboldened by Roseanne".

Fox's other new fall sitcom is "Rel".

"I'm not sure I think that [ABC's] cancelation had anything to do with politics, if anything, it had something more to do with vertical integration", said Gary Newman, Fox Television's other Chairman and CEO. "Tim's personal politics aren't a big feature on the show".

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