The news at this point for Last Man Standing fans is fairly widespread: Molly Ephraim, who played the character of Mandy, is not returning for the revival on Fox.
What does this mean? As we discuss both in the article over here and the video below (subscribe to CarterMatt on YouTube for more), the series is going to recast both that role as well as Flynn Morrison’s part of Boyd. The show will look slightly different when it returns, and that for many people could be distracting. A big part of what made this show appealing to many was the ensemble; yet, the show will go on.
As a matter of fact, we’d actually argue that even with Ephraim’s exit, Last Man Standing may actually be more popular in season 7 than it was in season 6 — but that’s due to factors that don’t have anything to do with her at all. Take, for example, the move to Fox, where they have a far greater incentive to promote the show than ABC ever did. They own the series fully thanks to their studio and with Thursday Night Football, they can promote the show heavily the night before to an NFL audience that may be appealing to many. We do think that there’s been a lot made over the past year and a half about the show from a political angle — we don’t think that the series itself is overtly political all the time, but there are elements to all of it that could help its performance.
Ultimately, we’re predicting already that Last Man Standing will probably get a season 8, even with the cast changes, just because Fox wouldn’t have picked it up unless they had long-term aspirations for it. Beyond that, they don’t really have many other live-action comedies after eliminating most of their lineup in this genre.
Do you think that the Last Man Standing cast change helps or hurts the show? Be sure to share in the comments below.
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