Look, we know people have leaned—for understandable reasons, but still—a little hard on the old “this is the darkest timeline” gag of late. But we have to admit that this one feels pretty surreal to type: Just a day after abruptly canceling three of its most well-regarded single-camera sitcoms—including fan favorite cop comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine—Fox has now made it official that it’s bringing Tim Allen’s Last Man Standing back to life.
This Last Man Lazarus act has been grinding its way through the rumor mill for a while now; in fact, Fox actually tried to bring the series, which is produced at its sister company 20th Century Fox TV, over for a seventh season last year, right after ABC cut the show from its schedule. The efforts fell through at the time, though, at least in part because the network was so focused on single-camera comedy that it didn’t have anything to effectively pair the conservative-leaning multi-cam with, a concern that, as of yesterday, is depressingly no longer a problem.
Allen—who’s long been a vocal (or at least pre-verbal) proponent for reviving the series (which was, admittedly, ABC’s second-most-watched comedy when it got the axe)—took time out of his busy grunting schedule to crow about the revival. “Team LMS was in the sixth inning, ahead by four runs, stands were packed and then for no reason, they call off the game,” he said in a statement, employing an elaborate baseball metaphor, in case you’d forgotten all the signifiers of his personal brand. “It leaves you sitting in the dugout, holding a bat and puzzled. Now we get the news from Fox that it’s time to get back out on that diamond—hell yes, I’m excited!” It’s a real home run touchdown free throw puck fight, for sure.
Obviously, this is all secretly Roseanne Barr’s fault; the success of ABC’s Roseanne revival has been seen as a bellwether for a more general turn back to both more traditional multi-cam sitcoms, as well as a mobilization in the audience for right-leaning TV. But while that’s the biggest, flashiest sign for why LMS is getting this revival order, it’s worth keeping an eye on the trend of networks making sure that their longest-running (and, thus, most expensive) shows are being produced in-house; after all, that—as much as any political ideology—was one of the biggest reasons ABC killed the series in the first place. (The irony that a show that was canceled in part because Disney didn’t own it is about to have its parent studio bought by Disney isn’t lost on us, meanwhile.)
Anyway, Last Man Standing is coming back for a seventh season, Brooklyn Nine-Nine is still dead, and we’re out of words. Augh augh augh augh.