Earlier today, I wrote an editorial about the cancellation of Last Man Standing, the highly rated TV comedy from ABC. Despite its ratings, ABC canceled the show after 4 seasons, which led many to believe that the reason for the move was due to backlash over comments conservative actor Tim Allen made along with the fact the main character on the show was a likable conservative. Here’s an important part of that article I wrote earlier today.
Last Man Standing steadily averaged 6.5 million viewers on the Friday Night block for ABC, which was the second-highest-rated comedy behind Modern Family for the network. By comparison Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. which has a huge backing from the network and Disney only averaged 2.3 million viewers on a busier night and was renewed for a fifth season.
Now at the time I was only using Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. as a reference for about the current lineup for the network, well it looks like that point was more relevant than ever because news broke from Variety hours ago after I posted that editorial which shows that politics may indeed be in play with ABC and more importantly its parent company, Disney.
Variety reported that ABC was all but ready to cancel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. after its fourth season, mostly due to the shows low and struggling ratings, and they would have done so if not for Disney pulling rank and forcing its renewal. The mandate came down from Disney for ABC to renew the Marvel drama despite the desire by the network to end the series. Here’s where it gets good. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is shifting to Friday nights this season in the same time slot that was once held by the higher rated Last Man Standing.
ABC originally stated that the reason Last Man Standing was canceled was due to the network deciding to no longer run comedies on Friday night, however, this new development suggests that many at the network had no plans to continue the show that ended up replacing Last Man Standing in the same timeslot. Now, why would a network take a popular show, cancel it and replace it with a show that was barely making 1/3 of the ratings? The answer looks to be the house of mouse.
Why would they do this you ask? Two reasons, one is that without Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Inhumans, which is already having a boatload of problems of its own, Disney would have no television tie-ins to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (Not including Netflix series of course) which is also run by Disney. Secondly….politics. I mentioned early that Disney has a political bias to the left based on the content of their outlets such as ESPN and Marvel. During the last season of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., the show got uncharacteristically political by taking many jabs at President Donald Trump with a Mini-series that was based on Hydra (aka Nazis) taking over the government.
No matter which side of the story you choose to believe, this latest development now has a lot of questions that need to be answered. Why did Disney step in and make the save for a struggling TV show? Did Disney also have input when it came to canceling Tim Allen’s show from the network? Why would they cancel a highly rated show while admittedly struggling for ratings with their other TV programs? We may not give direct answers to these questions from Disney and ABC but one thing is for sure, someone is not telling the full story which only leads people to believe something more dubious is happening behind the scenes.
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