Tim Allen's sitcom Last Man Standing had extremely high ratings especially for a show that aired on Friday nights. In fact, deadline describes the show’s ratings as ”very respectable for any night and especially Friday.”
In fact, the show had 6.4 million overall same-day viewers. Deadline adds that “most returning shows were down year-to-year 20-30%, LMS was virtually flat, off just by 5% in total viewers.” Moreover, ABC's Last Man Standing was the network's Friday anchor show, which means it was the show that the network counted on to keep viewers tuned in no matter what came on before or after. It is why popular TV show will be followed by a not so popular so typically afterwards. Hence, the Talking Dead appears following The Walking Dead. It is a great way for networks to make more money off of advertisers and benefit from a large number of viewers.
Deadline also reports that the show had a rare network rating success story by becoming a syndication smash hit. A syndication means that the network is able to sell reruns per episode to other networks. Syndication is why you always see old reruns of Friends years after the show premiered.
So it begs the question why would a show with such impressive numbers get cancelled? Want to show is doing so well why would it get abruptly canceled? And many other news outlets are trying to find out. some are asking whether if it's Tim Allen's Republican political beliefs and the fact that Hollywood is mostly made up of liberals.
For example, consider how deadline describes Tim Allen's character on the show.
… political conservative and devout Christian adhering to traditional American values, the blue-collar comedy appeals to viewers in the Heartland, a constituency that helped elect Donald Trump as president and has been energized post-election as evidenced by the ratings success of new USA drama Shooter.
In addition, the political conservative actor poked fun at Hillary Clinton, political correctness, and liberalism in America. That said, Tim Allen drew controversy after a joke that was said during Jimmy Kimmel Live. The Wrap reports that on a March episode and interview with Tim Allen, Allen told Kimmel that being a Republican in Hollywood today is “like 1930s Germany. You gotta be real careful around here, you know. You’ll get beat up if you don’t believe what everybody believes.”
The joke ultimately didn't go over so well with many people inside and outside of Hollywood. In fact, the Anne Frank Center called Allen’s comparison “deeply offensive” and it “triviliaizes the horrors imposed on Jews in Nazi Germany.”
But the major reason why the show was canceled maybe do some money. An insight on the shell told The Wrap that ABC had not been making much money from the series, which probably led to the show's cancellation.