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The series follows Mike Baxter, a senior executive and director of marketing for an outdoor sporting goods store chain based in Denver, Colorado, whose world is filled with his wife, three daughters, grandson, and the young men married to or dating his daughters.
- Tim Allen as Michael "Mike" Baxter
- Nancy Travis as Vanessa Baxter
- Alexandra Krosney (season 1)\Amanda Fuller (seasons 2–present) as Kristin Baxter
- Molly Ephraim (seasons 1–6)\Molly McCook (season 7-8) as Mandy Baxter|Mandy Baxter-Anderson
- Kaitlyn Dever as Eve Baxter (series regular, seasons 1–6; recurring, season 7)
- Christoph Sanders as Kyle Anderson
- Héctor Elizondo as Edward "Ed" Alzate
- Flynn Morrison (regular, seasons 2–6)\Jet Jurgensmeyer (season 7)\Evan and Luke Kruntchev (recurring, season 1) as Boyd Baxter
- Jordan Masterson (regular, seasons 4–present; recurring, seasons 2–3)\Nick Jonas (guest star, season 1) as Ryan Vogelson
Jonathan Adams as Chuck Larabee (regular, seasons 4–present; recurring, seasons 2–3)
- Krista Marie Yu as Jen (season 7–present)
- Robert Forster as Bud Baxter (seasons 1, 3–4, 7)
- Christina Moore as April (seasons 1 & 3)
- Danielle Bisutti as Michelle (season 1)
- Erika Alexander (seasons 2–6)\Tisha Campbell (season 7–) as Carol Larabee
- Carla Jimenez as Blanca Alvarez (seasons 2–4)
- Sarah Gilman as Cammy Harris (seasons 2–6)
- Jonathan Taylor Thomas as John Baker (seasons 2–3)
- Tye Sheridan as Justin (seasons 3–4)
- Zachary Gordon as Andrew (season 3)
- Joely Fisher as Wendi Gracin (seasons 3–5)
- Bill Engvall as Reverend Paul (seasons 5–7)
- Jay Leno as Joe Leonard (seasons 5–7)
- Travis Tope as Rob (season 6)
Development and casting
"Last Man Standing" first appeared on ABC's development slate in late 2010 when writer Jack Burditt received a put pilot commitment from the network under the original title "Man Up".
In January 2011, ABC green-lighted production of a pilot episode under the title Last Days of Man.
On February 18, 2011, Tim Allen (who had been attached to the potential series from the beginning) officially joined the project in the lead role.
At the end of March, Nancy Travis joined the cast in the leading female role as Allen's "smart and loving wife who doesn't miss much".
Soon thereafter, Héctor Elizondo came on board in a supporting role as the boss to Allen's character.
In July 2018, it reveals that Molly Ephraim and Flynn Morrison where both would not be returning for season seven.
On May 13, 2011, ABC picked up the pilot for the 2011–2012 television season under the new title "Last Man Standing."
On May 17, 2011, ABC announced that the series would air on Tuesday nights at 8:00 Eastern/7:00 Central. It debuted on October 11, 2011, with the first two episodes airing in a one-hour premiere.
On November 3, 2011, "Last Man Standing" was picked up for a full season of twenty-two episodes.
On January 12, 2012, the order was increased to twenty-four episodes.
On May 11, 2012, ABC renewed the series for a second season set to air in the 2012–2013 season in November.
On June 11, 2012, Tim Doyle was hired as the new showrunner of the series. Doyle was the third showrunner that the series had had since it entered production.
Doyle replaced Kevin Abbott, who joined the staff as the showrunner mid-way in the first season. Abbott replaced series creator Jack Burditt, who was the showrunner for the first thirteen episodes.
Unlike Burditt, who is no longer credited as an executive producer, Abbott continued to serve as an executive producer while showrunning the fellow ABC sitcom "Malibu Country", starring Reba McEntire.
Both "Last Man Standing" and "Malibu Country" aired as a part of ABC's Friday night lineup for the 2012–2013 primetime television season.
On November 8, 2012, Abbott re-joined the the show's crew full-time, after a stint in rehab, and gave Nastaran Dibai full showrunning duties of "Malibu Country".
On June 11, 2012, it was announced that Alexandra Krosney (Kristin) was let go from the show for creative reasons; Krosney was replaced by Amanda Fuller in season two.
On June 19, 2012, it was also announced that twins Luke and Evan Kruntchev, who played the role of Boyd in season one, would not be returning; they were replaced by Flynn Morrison in season 2. The character of Boyd was also age-advanced from two years old to five years old.
Jordan Masterson plays Ryan, Boyd's father, in a recurring role beginning in season two; The role was previously played by Nick Jonas, who guest-starred in one episode in season one.
The second season initially received a 13-episode order. ABC announced on November 12, 2012, that an additional three scripts had been ordered. On November 27, five more episodes were ordered to bring the second-season episode total to 18.
On May 10, 2013, the series was renewed for a third season which premiered on September 20, 2013, and ended on April 25, 2014, after 22 episodes.
On May 10, 2014, ABC renewed "Last Man Standing" for a fourth season, which premiered on October 3, 2014.
Allen and Elizondo guest-starred as their "Last Man Standing" characters in a crossover episode with the fellow ABC Friday sitcom, "Cristela".
On May 10, 2015, ABC announced that "Last Man Standing" had been renewed for a fifth season.
The show had become a solid performer for the Friday night lineup at ABC, which with the help of "Shark Tank" and "20/20" has become the top network among adults 18–49 for the night.
Leading off Friday night for ABC, the show averaged a 1.8 rating in adults 18–49 and 8.2 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen's Live+7 estimates.
On May 13, 2016, ABC renewed "Last Man Standing" for a sixth season, which premiered on September 23, 2016.
On May 10, 2017, ABC canceled "Last Man Standing" after six seasons, despite the series being the second-most-watched ABC sitcom during the 2016–17 season (based on Live+7 figures), with ratings remaining mostly steady during its sixth season.
A representative for 20th Century Fox Television said cancellation decisions are made by ABC.
"This was a scheduling decision," wrote Jori Arancio, senior vice president of ABC Entertainment and ABC Studios.
ABC and its production partner for the show, 20th Century Fox Television, typically negotiate licensing fees prior to each season; however, the network decided to cancel the show without doing so.
Also, the contract between 20th Century Fox Television and ABC for the show, in which 20th Century Fox Television covered the cost of production, had expired after six seasons.
Had "Last Man Standing" been renewed for a seventh season, ABC would have been required to pick up the show's production costs, which the network was unwilling to do.
The cancellation was met with outrage from the show's fans, many of whom took to social media to voice their displeasure and petition for another network to pick up the show.
It also happened some months after lead actor Tim Allen (who is also a real-life Republican) said in an interview on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!", that being a Republican in Hollywood is "like 1930s Germany. You gotta be real careful around here, you know. You'll get beat up if you don't believe what everybody believes".
Allen's comment was widely criticized, especially his comparing the treatment of Republicans in Hollywood with Nazi Germany.
A viewer petition on the website Change.org calling for ABC to reinstate "Last Man Standing" surpassed 380,000 signatures as of May 23, 2017.
In a conference call with reporters earlier in May, ABC president Channing Dungey stated, "Last Man Standing was a challenging one for me, because it was a steady performer. Once we made the decision not to continue with comedy on Friday, it was just kind of that's where we landed."
Dungey cited studio ownership, future creative direction, ratings and viewer engagement as all factors in her decision.
A year later, the petition's signatures had grown to 438,000.
Tim Allen voiced his displeasure with the cancellation, tweeting on May 16, 2017: "Stunned and blindsided by the network I called home for the last six years."
On May 20, 2017, Howard Kurtzman, president of 20th Century Fox Television, reportedly showed some interest in his studio continuing to produce the show. "We're starting to explore that," Kurtzman said. "...[Fox Co-President] Jonnie [Davis] and I are hopeful that we can find another home for it."
Variety also confirmed in an exclusive report that 20th Century Fox Television would shop the series to other networks and streaming services in hopes it would be picked up for a seventh season; however, another home was not quickly found.
In August of 2017, Allen expressed his appreciation for support by the show's fans to bring it back, and said the talent behind the show had much more to add.
Revival on Fox
On May 3, 2018, Tm Allen tweeted that a return "just might be a reality" and prompted the show's supporters to "keep it up".
On that same day, TVLine reported that Fox was "poised to" resurrect "Last Man Standing" for the 2018–19 TV season, adding that Allen is "officially on board".
Deadline Hollywood reported that Fox was in talks for another season, but it was "by no means a sure thing", suggesting it would depend on whether the actors could be re-signed "at reasonable salaries".
On May 11, 2018, Fox TV's CEOs and chairmen announced that Fox had officially picked up "Last Man Standing" for a seventh season.
Dana Walden, chairman of Fox Television Group, later hinted that the return of the show was in part a response to the huge success of the "Roseanne" revival on ABC earlier in 2018:
"Obviously, I think everyone took a good, hard look at the performance of Roseanne. It did so well, and it certainly did remind us that we have a huge, iconic comedy star in our Fox family in Tim Allen."
On July 2, 2018, Fox announced that, in addition to Allen, series regulars Nancy Travis, Amanda Fuller, Hector Elizondo, Christoph Sanders, Jordan Masterson and Jonathan Adams had all signed on to appear in the season 7 reboot.
Molly Ephraim and Flynn Morrison both opted not to return for the new season with Fox announcing their roles ("Mandy" and "Boyd", respectively) would be recast ahead of season 7.
On August 6, 2018, it was announced that Molly McCook and Jet Jurgensmeyer would be taking over the roles of Mandy and Boyd, respectively.
The article also stated that Kaitlyn Dever, who recently signed on to play a lead role in the 2019 Netflix miniseries "Unbelievable", will return as "Eve" in a recurring role only.
For the seventh season, the show airs in the same Friday night time slot as it did for the last five of its six seasons on ABC.
The show was renewed for an eighth season, and will be forced to move to a new time slot, as Fox has signed an agreement to air "WWE SmackDown" on Friday nights beginning in fall 2019.
- Last Man Standing on Fandom