The Last Man on Earth was a Fox comedy series of post-apocalyptic proportions, created by and starring Will Forte, Running for 67 episodes across the four seasons, the show's outside-of-the-norm premise was a surprise hit on the mainstream network. However, the show's luck eventually ran out.

Though the series gave hope for humanity's revival, its own survival was a lot less certain despite remaining alive for so long on a mainstream channel. The Last Man on Earth couldn't break out of its niche, however, which doomed it to an early extinction. Here's a look back at the show and how it came to an abrupt end.


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The Last Man on Earth

The Last Man on Earth starred Will Forte as Phil Miller, who's the seemingly last survivor of a deadly plague in the year 2020. He travels about trying to inform anyone out there that he's alive and otherwise fine in Tuscon, Arizona. He eventually meets another survivor named Carol, and despite their dislike of each other, they agree to get married and try to repopulate the Earth.

They run into a series of other survivors along the way, but Phil's obnoxious nature eventually gets him exiled from his home state. The couple relocates several times with new groups of survivors before eventually heading to Mexico over nuclear paranoia. Carol gives birth to twins and becomes pregnant again, all after Will's astronaut brother crash lands back on Earth and realizes what's happened. Then, in Season 4, The Last Man on Earth ends on a dramatic cliffhanger where the main group was found and surrounded by survivors who were never exposed to the virus.

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Why the Last Man on Earth Ended

Last Man on Earth cast

Though it was definitely popular among its fanbase, the less than traditional premise of The Last Man on Earth meant that it could never expand past its niche. Its first season averaged around 6 million in ratings, but by the fourth and final season, these ratings had dried up to about less than half that.

This was also in an era when Fox was canceling shows left and right, and with the obvious downward trend in the show's ratings, The Last Man on Earth was obviously on the chopping block. Even though other shows were subsequently picked up by streaming services to continue, The Last Man on Earth wasn't one of them. Unfortunately, this meant that it ended on a cliffhanger. The planned fifth season would have involved the virus being carried by Phil's group and killed off most of the people that had previously surrounded them.

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