BOZELL: Tim Allen’s Hit Gets Canceled
In January, ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey told a Television Critics Association session in Hollywood that she wanted to retool ABC programming to include more shows for Trump-voting segments of the population: men, rural America and working-class families.
“If we’re talking about diversity and inclusion, I want to make sure we’re inclusive of everyone,” she declared. “When you think about the name, we’re the American Broadcasting Company.”
We’ve seen this movie before. The commitment to wholesome values is perhaps the emptiest statement in Hollywood.
This month, she broke that campaign promise like a politician by canceling the Tim Allen sitcom “Last Man Standing,” a show appealing directly to that Trump electorate. A Change.com petition protesting the move has nearly 300,000 signatures. Allen tweeted that he was “stunned and blindsided” by the bad news.
Why was Allen fired?
The show didn’t have a ratings problem — it averaged 6.4 million viewers this season, and that should be graded upward on a curve, since the show aired on Friday and the overall Friday audience is typically smaller than other weeknights. Dungey said the job of a programming executive was “managing failure,” but this wasn’t a failure. “It was a steady performer,” she admitted. However, she added, “Once we made the decision not to continue with comedy on Friday, it was just kind of that’s where we landed.”
Instead, they’re moving in the drama “Once Upon a Time,” which averaged 3.2 million viewers this year, or half of Allen’s number. In the second hour, ABC is eventually placing its show “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.,” which this season averaged 2.3 million viewers.
What about Saturday to Thursday? Apparently, there wasn’t a slot on ABC prime time for Allen’s show.
What constitutes a success at ABC? Dungey declared herself “optimistic and excited” about a third season of “Quantico,” which, according to creator Joshua Safran, is opposed to “Trumpian instincts.” The series just concluded with a plot that the Trump-like president wanted to merge the FBI and CIA into one giant agency and was exposed as a tool of the Russians. And the ratings? This cartoonish liberal claptrap averaged 2.7 million viewers this season, just over a third of Allen’s total. It was renewed.
These surviving shows with mediocre ratings are owned by ABC. That means there are business reasons for Allen’s show to be dismissed, since it’s owned by 20th Century Fox. But it’s the second-highest-rated ABC sitcom behind “Modern Family,” which is also owned by Fox. (This season, it was ABC’s third most watched scripted series behind “Modern Family” and “Grey’s Anatomy.”) But ABC is keeping Fox-owned “Fresh Off the Boat,” which on Tuesday night drew less than 4 million viewers. Pro “diversity” ABC wasn’t going to cancel an Asian-American sitcom — one with an episode last November during which a character proclaimed, “This country was founded by illegal immigrants,” meaning the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock.
ABC also claims it is renewing these less-popular shows due to “critical acclaim,” and that’s one way Hollywood liberals can cite liberal TV critics in defense of their decisions. Tim Allen is not a critic’s darling. They dismissed this show as retreading his 1990s ABC smash “Home Improvement.”
So if Tim Allen’s hit show is produced by Fox, why can’t Fox pick it up? Deadline reported that Fox isn’t airing traditional multicamera sitcoms anymore and is leaning toward “edgy” comedies to try to attract younger viewers. Fox only had two weeknight sitcoms this season, both of which struggled: the beyond crass “The Mick” (2.9 million average viewers) and “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” (2.1 million average viewers). Both were renewed.
Looking at all this, you can see why Tim Allen is stunned … and why it’s easy to think that a pro-Trump TV star is suddenly out of fashion largely for reasons that have nothing to do with ratings or business.
L. Brent Bozell III is the president of the Media Research Center. Tim Graham is director of media analysis at the Media Research Center and executive editor of the blog NewsBusters.org. To find out more about Brent Bozell III and Tim Graham, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.
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Last Updated: Thursday, May 18, 2017 16:55:08 -0700
Founder and president of the Media Research Center, Mr. Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America. Established in 1987, the MRC has made “media bias” a household term, tracking it daily and printing the compiled evidence biweekly in its well-known Notable Quotables, as well as the daily CyberAlert intelligence report on the Internet. His most recent book, Whitewash: What the Media Won’t Tell You About Hillary Clinton, but Conservatives Will, was released in November 2007. His previous book, Weapons of Mass Distortion: The Coming Meltdown of the Liberal Media, was released in July 2004.
In 1998, Mr. Bozell launched CNSNews.com, an online news service with an emphasis on investigative journalism. CNSNews.com has become a major Internet news source with a full staff of journalists in its Washington, D.C. metro bureau, with other correspondents around the world. In October 2006, Mr. Bozell founded the Culture and Media Institute (CMI), whose mission is to thwart the efforts of the liberal media to subvert America’s culture, character, traditional moral values and religious liberty. CMI complements the MRC’s Business and Media Institute (BMI), founded in 1992 to bring balance to economic reporting and to promote fair portrayal of the business community in the media.
Mr. Bozell has also launched a number of other websites under the MRC umbrella including www.mediaresearch.org, www.timeswatch.org, www.mrcaction.org and www.Newsbusters.org, a “blog” site that became one of the top 15 blog sites in America within two months of its launch in 2005.
Founder and former president of the Parents Television Council, Mr. Bozell established the largest Hollywood-based organization dedicated to restoring responsibility to the entertainment industry. The PTC at http://www.parentstv.org features the “Family Guide to Prime Time Television,” which aids parents in making informed viewing decisions for their children. PTC conducted the largest national newspaper ad campaign in history with late Honorary Chairman Steve Allen, and has mobilized almost one million parents and other concerned members behind its efforts.
Mr. Bozell is a nationally syndicated columnist whose work appears in publications such as Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, The New York Post, The Los Angeles Times, Investors Business Daily and National Review. He is regularly invited to provide media expertise on news programs by all the major networks and cable affiliates. He is frequently invited to appear on Fox News Channel shows such as Fox & Friends, Hannity & Colmes and The O’Reilly Factor, and other appearances include NBC's Today show, CNN's Inside Politics and Larry King Live, ABC's Good Morning America, C-SPAN, CBN and Entertainment Tonight. He has appeared as a guest and guest host on hundreds of radio shows, from local talk shows to ABC Radio, NPR’s Morning Edition, the Michael Reagan Show and the Rush Limbaugh Show.
Named the 1998 Pew Memorial Lecturer by Grove City College, Mr. Bozell is a frequent speaking guest on school campuses and for civic and political organizations around the country.
Mr. Bozell received his B.A. in History from the University of Dallas, where he was named the 1998 Alumnus of the Year. He is married, with five children and two grandchildren.
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Originally posted at http://get.creators.com/content/release/204269.