According to Deadline, CMT has started a dialogue with 20th Century Fox TV, the studio behind "Last Man Standing," about potentially ordering new original episodes, i.e. continuing the show with new seasons. CMT currently airs reruns of the Tim Allen show, and it does seem like a natural fit for the sitcom. However, the talks are in the early stages and money is one issue. Can CMT even afford to do it, and would the team be available to return if everything worked out? Deadline reported that "a deal is considered a long shot though not impossible."
The Hollywood Reporter expressed similar caution, writing, "It's unclear if a deal will be made as insiders cautioned that a renewal at CMT may be a long shot given the price tag on the veteran series. Also unclear is how big of a renewal the show could get as everything from a short order to multiple-season/20-episode run have been rumored."
One issue is that the writers for the show had, understandably, all gone off to pursue other jobs after the show was canceled. The cast members haven't even been approached at this point to extend their options, but those options expire in two weeks.
Viacom-owned CMT picked up "Nashville" with an assist from Hulu, which shared the cost to get next-day streaming rights. Can they just do the same thing for "Last Man Standing"? Deadline said the financials of Tim Allen's show are "challenging, as it is at the upper end for a broadcast multi-camera comedy series. And, under its recent restructuring, Viacom has been concentrating original scripted programming on its new flagship scripted brand, the Paramount Network. There are only two original scripted series on CMT: drama 'Nashville,' which could potentially migrate to the Paramount Network in the future, and comedy 'Still The King' starring Billy Ray Cyrus."
Fox also considered saving "Last Man Standing" last month, but that ended up falling through. At least networks are still out there trying to make this happen, since there's a big fan base ready to follow the show wherever it goes. As of this moment, 397,750 supporters have signed the Change.org petition "Save Tim Allen's Show 'Last Man Standing.'"
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