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TCA press tour: ABC says politics didn't factor in 'Last Man Standing' cancellation

TCA press tour: ABC says politics didn't factor in 'Last Man Standing' cancellation


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. • Tim Allen's personal politics "had nothing whatsoever to do" with the cancellation of "Last Man Standing," ABC Entertainment president Channing Dungey told TV critics Sunday in Los Angeles.

Allen had said he was blindsided by the abrupt end, and some fans were convinced that the star's conservative bent was a cause.

"We have actors on our shows who have all sorts of different political views," Dungey said. "Tim Allen is a valuable part of the Disney|ABC family; he has been for a very, very long time."

But “Last Man Standing” was a show "that, several years running, came up to the very end in terms of the renewal, which was the same case this year. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to create room for it on the schedule, which was a disappointment to me because the show was a high- quality show that was very well done."

Dungey also said:

• The cancellation of “Downward Dog” was simply a matter of money. "Ultimately, we were not able to make it work financially." Producers have been attempting to find the comedy a new home, but have had no luck so far.

• Kiefer Sutherland's "Designated Survivor" enters Season 2 with its fourth show runner, Keith Eisner. "As much as we love the twists and turns and the cliffhangers and all the rest of it, I think what we’re really looking forward to exploring more of in Season 2 is some of the character relationships and some of the interpersonal dynamics that are happening in the White House."

• Moving “black ish” to the 8 p.m. Tuesday "anchor slot" for its fourth season "shows just how serious we are about that show. It is very much on the ascent, and we feel like it has a long, long run ahead of it."

• "Rachel Lindsay, as our first African-American 'Bachelorette,' has had an incredible summer. The fans love her. The season has been fantastic. The engagement has never been higher."

• "Match Game," "$100,000 Pyramid" and "Celebrity Family Feud" have all been renewed, "Pyramid" for its third season and "Feud" for its fourth.

•  Elsewhere on the summer-game-show front, on Aug. 14, after the premiere of “Bachelor in Paradise,” "The Gong Show" will feature guest celebrity judges Will Arnett (the show's executive producer), Jack Black and Jennifer Aniston.

• “Grey’s Anatomy” will reach the 300th episode milestone in November, during its 14th season.

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Gail Pennington is the television critic for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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