Tim Allen goes from three sons on "Home Improvement" to three daughters on "Last Man Standing" (launching at 8 p.m. Tuesdays this fall on ABC) and so while things are demonstrably different from the 1990s ABC smash, the snippet above doesn't feel all that fresh.

The thought occurs to me that if "Modern Family" were aiming to hit the same story beat as the one above, it would require about a tenth of the setup to do so, and the punchline wouldn't seem quite so predictable. I think that's part of what made "Modern Family" seem so exceptional from the start. But maybe that's not a valid comparison, especially for a single scene from a multicam pilot.

Nancy Travis, from another '90s sitcom ("Almost Perfect"), co-stars as wife Vanessa, with Molly Ephraim, Alexandra Krosney and Kaitlyn Dever as daughters aged 22, 17 and 14. Hector Elizondo also co-stars, presumably not limited to appearing behind a fence like Earl Hindman. Jack Burditt ("30 Rock") wrote and exec produces with Allen, Becky Clements, Marty Adelstein, Shawn Levy, Richard Baker and Rick Messina for Twentieth.

 

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