Fox fall lineup includes new series from Winston-Salem native

Minnie Murray
May 14, 2018

In a conference call with reporters Monday morning, Fox Television Chairmen and CEOs Gary Newman and Dana Walden said they had been trying to find a place on their schedule for the multi-camera sitcom since it was canceled by ABC past year, and the success of ABC's Roseanne reboot convinced them that there was no time like the present to do so. And if you were wondering, yes, ABC's success with reviving Roseanne was a factor. All the while, titular star Roseanne Barr's been tweeting inflammatory political opinions, but FOX executives have insisted (during a conference call transcribed by Hollywood Reporter) that they made their Last Man Standing decision based exclusively upon ratings potential, not politics.

"It's a really amusing show", Walden said of "Last Man". "He and Jerrod produced a really amusing pilot". On ABC, Last Man Standing averaged 8.3 million viewers in Live+ 7 day calculations during Season 6 in the 2016-2017 TV season, making it the network's second most-watched comedy after the juggernaut that is Modern Family.

"We've been talking to Tim throughout the year", she said.

The network has ground to make up in ratings: Fox is averaging 5 million viewers in prime time this season, down 17 percent from 6 million previous year.

That should give those five new entertainment series on the two networks more time to be promoted and a better chance to succeed in a climate that is increasingly hard for more shows to catch on. Who hasn't been on a flight that seemed to last that long? He said it had more to do with ABC not owning the program.

The demise of "Last Man" on ABC past year spurred much chatter that it the decision was influenced by Allen's conservative political views, which made the show a favorite among red-state demos. He also said Allen's character, Mike Baxter, is a political centrist and that the show's stories are not a partisan platform.

Fox had wanted to rescue "Last Man" a year ago when it was unexpectedly axed by ABC.

Following the announcement, Allen described his excitement to Fox by relating the show to a baseball game. [Mike Baxter] doesn't have extreme political views. "We think its a amusing show and audience responded to it... and we thought there was an opportunity there for us particularly after adding Thursday Night Football".

"I think one of the great things about broadcast television is that the fans get very connected to these stars, the character and the shows", he said. "From time to time, there may be a moment on the show that deals with current politics, but it doesn't feel like a soapbox for any particular point of view".

"... We really looked for an opportunity to move it to our schedule and we just didn't have the right show to pair it with", he said.

While news on Prison Break is certainly exciting for fans, maybe the biggest Fox TV news of the week has been the cancellation, and subsequent saving, of Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Fox, which is carrying National Football League games on Thursday nights this fall, is saving the second season of Seth MacFarlane's "The Orville" and several other shows for midseason.

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