News Briefs: Last Man Standing Is a Hit

IMPORTANT-ISH NEWS

... Tim Allen returned to television last night via the ABC sitcom Last Man Standing, and the show is a bona fide ratings smash despite being loathed by critics. Even our own monkeybrain gave it a negative review. An average of 13.19 million viewers watched Tim Allen act manly, and the show earned a 3.6 rating in the adult demo. That was good enough to take second place for the night, behind NCIS. But what's scary is that the show actually gained viewers over the course of its hour-long debut, topping out at 13.87 million viewers with a 3.9 rating in its final 15 minutes. [TV By the Numbers]

... CBS is doing well. Very well. According to Nielsen ratings, the home of NCIS and How to Be a Gentleman has twenty of the top thirty shows in total viewership and is leading in the 18-49 year old demographic. The shows that CBS cancels would be in the top five at NBC. [New York Times]

... Prime Suspect received some good news today: NBC has ordered six more scripts of the police drama starring Maria Bello, a good sign that NBC is thinking about extending the show's stay on the network. [EW]

... Magician David Blaine has pulled off his most amazing trick yet: convincing ABC that his life story could make a great television show! The illusionist is the inspiration behind In Like Fin, a new drama from Castle producer Alexi Hawley. But because card tricks and corsages that squirt water in your eyes aren't enough fodder for a series, the network is adding a little wrinkle to Blaine's life: On the show, he'll be recruited by the government to become a covert operative. Yep, he's a secret agent magician. [THR]

... ABC bought another project based on the life of a celeb. This time it's High School Musical star Ashley Tisdale. Isn't it nice to see shows based on the life of 26-year-olds? They have so much to teach us! Under Construction stars a young woman (obviously) who moves back home to help her dad fix up an old house. Really? [Deadline Hollywood]

... Katherine Heigl is producing a CW show called Trending, about a woman who anticipates the hottest trends for her corporate clients "but finds it difficult to predict the trends in her love life." Barf. [Deadline Hollywood]


CASTING-ISH NEWS

... Tricia Helfer has a new acting job! The Battlestar Galactica hottie has landed the lead female role on TNT's Scent Of The Missing. She'll play a K-9 Search and Rescue volunteer who works with her Golden Retriever. Gerald McRaney will play her father—Helfer's father, not the dog's, but that would be pretty cool. [Deadline Hollywood]

... Celebrity Apprentice news! Wait! Don't skip to the next item! Aww, come on. You don't like Celebrity Apprentice? But you'll never guess who's gonna be on it this time! Come on just read this. I promise it'll be worth your time. Okay, here goes: '80s popstar Debbie Gibson and former American Idol contestant Clay Aiken! Yeah, you're right. It wasn't worth it. Sorry. [People]

... Pan Am SMASH! Gaius Charles, who played hotshot running back Smash Williams on Friday Night Lights, will play a soldier who "opens Laura's eyes to the world," which is a fancy way of saying he'll "smooth-talk his way into her pants." Or girdle, maybe? Look for him to fly in November. [TV Line]


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

Comments (33)
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Oct 15, 2011
i watched it.. it made me laughed... it is very similar to home improvement, nevertheless it's a comedy that actually made me laugh... unlike some of the others out there
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Oct 15, 2011
No offense Tim Allen but I've seen this show before when I was a kid. I'll pass
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Oct 14, 2011
I have yet to watch the show..Been holding out because I know its going to rock. Love Tim Allen. My view didnt count though as I downloa........ obtained it elsewhere.
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Oct 14, 2011
Last man standing seems like they are trying to fall somewhere in between modern family and the middle. I don't think any of those shows are 30 years too late. I actually really enjoyed it. Which is surprising because I probably ranked the concept of the show second to last--just above how to be a Gentleman--on my list for new shows this year. I see it sticking around for a while.
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Oct 14, 2011
Tricia Helfer has landed the role of..............WHO CARES!!!! SHE'S SO GORGEOUS & TALENTED.
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Oct 14, 2011
A show about a K-9 officer and her dog sounds interesting. Especially when compared to all of those other news stories.
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Oct 14, 2011
Wasn't that the premise of Mark Harmon's second show?
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Oct 13, 2011
Do you think the super long baseball game may have had an effect on viewership (esp. as you say #s picked up during LMS) since it was A) boring and B) meant no X Factor?
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Oct 13, 2011
Smash on Pan Am? Ah man I thought he would have a good career after FNL! We hardly knew you!
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Oct 13, 2011
I haven't watched Last Man Standing yet, but I did like Home Improvement and I generally like Tim Allen. I don't think it's much of a surprise that it did well in the ratings. Maybe I'll give it a shot. Or maybe I'll barf.
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Oct 13, 2011
Last Man Standing is a hit? That just goes to show that a large part of the population are ultimately quite conservative when it comes to TV. They enjoy watching something which is ordinary and old-school. I guess it makes them feel cosy and secure when they don't have to make that much of an effort to get the show. And of course this was the first week. People wanted to see what Tim looks like after all these years.
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Oct 13, 2011
There's no way in hell Last Man Standing will retain those numbers each week. People were just happy to see Tim Allen back on TV, but if the actual comedy isn't there, then there's no real reason to tune in anymore. At some point (if not next episode), the ratings will take a nose dive... unless Tim ends up right with comparing this to According to Jim and it'll just be one of those awful shows that lasts forever.



On another note, I'm looking forward to seeing Smash Williams again on Pan Am.
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Oct 13, 2011
I'm so happy Last Man Standing is a hit :D Tim Allen is awesome!!!!! Thank goodness the TV.com staff was totally off about this one ;)
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Oct 13, 2011
Interesting that CBS would cancel a show that would be still around on NBC - hence the fate of How to be a Gentleman while Whitney is coming back (shudder).
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Oct 13, 2011
Way to be Tim Allen, I knew you can do it.
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Oct 13, 2011
Last Man Standing is a hit and Fringe is about to get cancelled.



I dont want to live in this planet anymore.
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Oct 13, 2011
When times (economy) are hard, people want good, down-to-earth, uncomplicated comedy like Last Man Standing and they tend to move away from complicated shows that seems to go nowhere... like Fringe since the start of the season.
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Oct 13, 2011
I'm not so sure it has anything to do with the economy. My parents, both in their 50's loved Home Improvement. And, they love Tim Allen. And, they love any sitcom (it seems to me anyway) with a laugh track. I think Last Man Standing's success has more to do with the fact that it's themes and development are familiar to a generation of television viewers. And let's face it... fewer and fewer of these types of shows are on the air nowadays. Despite similar production qualities Whitney and 2 Broke Girls were clearly meant to appeal to a younger audience. I'm not saying ONLY older people watched this show. But surely, people who are tired of Everybody Love Raymond and Home Improvement reruns are going to tune in. That doesn't mean it's quality television. It's just what they're used to.
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Oct 13, 2011
Doesn't mean it is not quality television either... maybe that's what they are used to:quality television. But you're probably right.

I guess the fact that they can re-run a show for 20 years is probably not necessarily a sign of good television. HI ran for 8 years (7 of 24+ episodes) and ELR ran 9 years (8 of 20+ episodes) while most of the newer comedies can barely stand a whole 13 ep/year. But that's probably not a sign of good TV either. It' probably just a matter of viewers age.

And your comment doesn't explain why Fringe "is about to get cancelled" which is the second part of the comment to which I was also replying to. But it's ok: better not getting me started with that one.

Gee, and I thought that the 16-34 were the biggest TV demographics... I wonder how many years of re-runs of Whitney and 2 Broke Girls the younger dudes will support. :)

And if the 49+ are the main supporters of the TV Networks why, as you wrote: "fewer and fewer of these types of shows are on the air nowadays". Since TV Networks are in for the money (most viewers) shouldn't there be more?

Seems that every time the main character of a show is older, some people assumed that it only appeals to older viewers. Wow! yeah now I know why Breaking Bad is such a hit... older people... not because it is good television. Strange that I know some 60yo who watch "The Big Bang Theory" also...

Anyway... I better stop here.
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Oct 14, 2011
I think there's a decent argument to be made that it is unfortunate that TV networks feel the need to pander to specific groups of people at all. It is impossible for the avid tv viewers who frequent this site to fail to recognize that television has changed since the mid-90s. There is abundant evidence that television has become capable of extremely impressive artistic expression. You cited AMC's Breaking Bad, which is a great example, but even network television has been home to critically-acclaimed shows like Lost, the West Wing, and Friday Night Lights whose appeal existed outside any single demographic. Certainly not all shows need to be on that level; there's lots of room for procedurals and guilty pleasures. But the shows that are that good have in turn set the bar higher for average programming.



Those raised expectations have served, for better or for worse, to exacerbate the disappointment felt when programming makes no effort to go beyond mediocrity. It is even further lamentable when that decision is based on some idea (however correct) that things can't be smart or remotely irreverent because people need the kind of simplicity provided by low-brow observational comedy. You are correct that television is a business. But that doesn't mean we have to like it.
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Oct 14, 2011
Also, if viewers really have that much of a problem with older protagonists, how do you explain the success of NCIS, House, the CSI shows, or Without a Trace, whose leads were all at least in their forties when their respective series started? Maybe that age bias is the result of programmers and reviewers projecting their own prejudices.
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Oct 13, 2011
sadly, it's true :(



...umm,Swing la bacase do I smell Quebec in here? XD
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Oct 13, 2011
yep! (oui!)
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Oct 13, 2011
Is the economy in the USA that bad?

Writing from South America here.
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Oct 13, 2011
Katherine Heigl is boring. That show is bound to be boring. She's plays the same character in every movie and I bet the main character of her show will be just like that. The actress will probably even look like her.
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Oct 13, 2011
Interesting that ABC is advertising that 19 million viewers watched Last Man Standing.... where did the extra 6 million viewers come from in ABC's count??
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Oct 13, 2011
did you notice all the comments on the article about last man standing were about how much they liked the show? i think/hope it;ll be around for a while
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Oct 13, 2011
i don't believe in ratings
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Oct 13, 2011
I'll never get that paragraph of my life back.
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Oct 13, 2011
We'll see if Last Man Standing holds up. It might lose some people who were willing to give Tim Allen a chance only to find out that the show is terrible. Also, I think that's the plot of literally every Katherine Heigl movie.
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Oct 13, 2011
Ha! I knew America would go for Tim Allen, I can't really understand why though....Good for him!
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Oct 13, 2011
Of course "Last Man Standing" is a huge hit. Naysayers, give it a chance.
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Oct 13, 2011
Ever since Battlestar Galactica, I have had an almost unhealthy obsession with Tricia Helfer (My life size poster can attest), and I've been eagerly looking forward to learning here next TV gig. Now you tell me she'll play a K-9 Search and Rescue volunteer on TNT's Scent Of The Missing. Upon this startling discovery, the little hormonal adolescent inside my head screamed in unfulfilled anguish. I would have watched virtually ANY show Tricia was in, but a K-9 Search and Rescue volunteer, I'm not so sure.
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