FOX has opted to cancel well-received post-apocalyptic comedy The Last Man on Earth after four seasons, series star January Jones confirmed on Instagram today.
Though it was on the bubble last season, The Last Man on Earth managed to squeeze out another season thanks to solid retention from Family Guy, being owned by FOX, and the network’s belief in the creative. The first half of the season looked like the decision paid off, as ratings put the show in line for another renewal; however, once the show returned from hiatus in the spring, it had lost a step and looked much more vulnerable. Combine that with the state of flux that FOX is in as a result of the impending Disney merger, as well as FOX’s belief in some of its younger comedies, and The Last Man on Earth was simply crowded out on the schedule.
It’s a shame, as the show is still a very distinct entity on broadcast television and seemed like it could get a fifth (and final) season until just recently. The decision particularly hurts considering the show ended on a major cliffhanger, leaving the past 70+ episodes without anything in the way of closure. Considering that The Last Man on Earth is still produced by 20th Century Fox, making it a Disney asset upon completion of the merger, and still stars a big name in Will Forte, one would think that a short final season on FX or FXX would up its streaming value, but that doesn’t seem like a possibility at this time.
The series finale of The Last Man on Earth aired Sunday, May 6th on FOX.