After standing for a decade, “Last Man Standing” (shown here) is near the end.
Fox announced that the upcoming season – a full, 22-episode one, starting in January – will be its last.
The show will have run nine seasons, spread over 10 years and two networks. That makes Tim Allen one of TV’s most eternal stars; adding “Home Improvement,” he’ll have 17 seasons and 398 episodes.
“Home Improvement” ran eight seasons, each time finishing in the Nielsen top-10. It spent its first four in the top-four, one year being TV’s most-watched fiction show, trailing only “60 Minutes” overall.
Allen had lots of other projects – led by three “Santa Clause” movies, four “Toy Story” movies and stand-up comedy – but after a dozen years away from a TVseries, he launched “Last Man.” He played a man’s-man at work (an outdoor-supply store and website), with a wife and three daughters.
The show drew solid-enough ratings on Fridays, but ABC dropped it after six seasons, to try Marvel science-fiction on Fridays. That failed and after a year, “Last Man” was revived by Fox.
It was again solid on Fridays, but when it was moved to Thursdays – a night already full of CBS and NBC comedies – its viewership dropped 26 percent in total viewers and 32 percent in ages 18-49.
Now it gets one more season, putting Allen, 67, close to Kelsey Grammer turf in TV comedy longevity.