Another consideration is the cost of making the show. Union contracts for the crew require steady pay increases every year that the show is on the air. For standard episodic television, pay rates for the basic crew will start between $25–27.00 per hour and tick up every season. There will be lower paid assistants, but costumers, make-up and hair people, carpenters, etc… are making at least that.
And then there’s actor contracts, which are much more expensive and usually jump in year 5 or 6. Once an agent gets a sense that a show is a hit, they’re going to renegotiate hard when they get the chance.
My guess is that ABC believes that their push to more reality television will satisfy the same audience that watched ‘Last Man Standing’, and without the conservative tilt, they may even be able to pull in additional viewers that werw changing to a competitor during that time slot.
And for sure, they can make reality tv for a fraction of what a sitcom can cost, doubly so for a sitcom in season 7.
At the end of the day, they’re in this business to make money. If you think there’s an audience for slightly right family content, write a pilot and pitch the show. Start as a web series. If there’s an audience, no one cares if they’re red or blue. All ABC sees is green.