“Last Man Standing” is back from the dead, and its cast couldn’t be happier.
“I think we’re one of the only shows right now that reflects real families right now,” series star Amanda Fuller said at Thursday’s Paley Fall TV Preview event for the show. “It’s a comforting safe place for families to be able to come together and watch entertainment and laugh with each other … and realize that no matter what the differences are between us, we love and respect each other. At the end of the day that’s all that matters and that’s a really nice thing to be an example of.”
The series stars Tim Allen in the patriarch role of Mike Baxter, a man whose conservative political beliefs often put him at odds with some of his other family members. As a result, politics come up often during family disagreements, but rather than be polarizing for the cast, Fuller said the conversations are elements they enjoy.
“[Politics] influence who we are as a family, so it comes up here and there,”she explained. “I think it’s really important right now for families at home on Friday nights to be able to watch the television and see a family that reflects them and know that it’s OK, and that we can still love each other and be there for each other even if we have different political views.”
Hector Elizondo agreed: “I want [the show] to help heal the schism more than anything else — people [to] start talking to one another in America, and to laugh at one another and with each other. If we can do that, if we can post that, that’s a hell of a lot.”
The response from the show’s first live audience on tape night tells the cast that they are doing a lot right already. They shared that they had never experienced such a strong response from an audience. “It’s like we’re rock stars,” said Nancy Travis. “We came out for our opening bows, and they were chanting ‘Welcome back, welcome back,’ and it was moving. It was really nice to feel.”
Since at its heart, according to executive producer Kevin Abbott, “Last Man Standing” is first and foremost a family show, the seventh season will focus on the dynamics between the characters as they navigate a new stage in their lives. While the first six seasons often revolved on stories of the family as a whole unit, now in the show’s seventh season, the Baxters have in a sense become empty nesters.
“I really miss them. I was looking at old episodes and there are some of these scenes where all the girls were in the room together,” Allen said
Added Travis: “It is like we actually watched these children grow up.”
“Last Man Standing” will premiere Sept. 28 on Fox.