Last Man Standing just debuted its seventh season, and showrunner Kevin Abbott spoke with EW about TV show’s revival on FOX.
As reported earlier, FOX picked up the Tim Allen sitcom for a seventh season after ABC cancelled it last year. The returning cast also includes Nancy Travis, Amanda Fuller, Jonathan Adams, Christoph Sanders, Jordan Masterson, and Hector Elizondo. The roles of daughter Mandy and grandson Boyd, previously played by Molly Ephraim and Flynn Morrison, will be recast. Kaitlyn Dever (daughter Eve) will return in a recurring role.
In the interview, Abbott revealed he hasn’t heard from ABC about Last Man Standing‘s recent premiere:
Matt Berry, another EP on the show, heard congratulations from [programming head] Vicky Dummer, who we love at ABC. I heard that our cold opening [mocking ABC for canceling the show] was circulating around ABC beforehand. There’s no ill will. We did that [opening] for good fun and because we’re terrible people. It’s just business and this is what happens. Actually, this never happens [laughs]. It’s probably not the best day over at ABC programming but it’s a good day for us.”
And what about all the recasting? Both the role of Mandy and Boyd were replaced for season seven:
You don’t take a character played by an actress that’s beloved and suddenly switch them out. I’m glad they missed Molly Ephraim, that’s a good thing. And they’re going to go through the same process we did in casting. When Molly McCook walked in we thought, “that’s not going to work.” Physically that’s not going to work. And then she’s just so good. We thought maybe another character? Then we thought she’s the best actress, let’s go with it. We had some fun with it in the opening episode [about the physical differences between the actors] and then dropped that. It’s a little jarring then you grow to love her.”
Fox was hoping for 80 percent of what we were doing on ABC so about a 1.0. Because I knew it was doing gangbusters in syndication, I was optimistic for a 1.3, 1.4, thinking if everything breaks right that’s what we’ll get. So I’m an idiot. I don’t think anybody expected this. It’s a little hard to absorb. I looked at the number and I thought it was a misprint. It’s very gratifying. But yeah, nobody expected this.”
What do you think? Are you a fan of Last Man Standing? Did you watch the season seven premiere?