The Walking Dead Vet Michael Cudlitz To Star In New Show From Last Man Standing Showrunner

Since exiting the cast of The Walking Dead a couple of years ago (minus a surprise appearance late in Season 7), actor Michael Cudlitz has been waiting for that next big role, and he may have just found it in a new show from former Last Man Standing showrunner Tim Doyle. Cudlitz has been tapped to take a comedic turn with a starring role in Doyle's currently untitled ABC comedy pilot. Don't expect a lot of blood and guts from this one, but the mustache is certainly a possibility.

For the new project, Michael Cudlitz is set to play the blue-collar husband and father Mike Dwyer, according to Deadline. Mike and his cookie-cutter wife are responsible for the livelihoods of eight rambunctious sons, and yes, it's a plot point that they are Irish-Catholic. The single-camera comedy will be set in the 1970s, and the large Dwyer family will bob and weave through the many tumultuous changes that the decade had to offer, both on a public and personal level. So as you can see, since it's all taking place in the '70s, Cudlitz's signature mustache would be right at home, even if porn acting doesn't enter into the narrative.

Should this untitled comedy pilot get ordered to series, this could be Michael Cudlitz's third big leading role, following AMC's The Walking Dead and TNT's Southland. Getting into network TV would be a huge boost for the actor's post-Dead career, and showing off his comedic talents could lead to other non-typecast roles in the future. For the record, Cudlitz did have another comedy pilot set up at ABC last year, titled The Trustee, in which he would have co-starred with Orange is the New Black's Laverne Cox and Hawaii Five-0's Meaghan Rath. The network passed on it, though, paving Cudlitz's way to this new gig.

Tim Doyle certainly doesn't have any guarantees locked in with ABC, considering the network surprisingly cancelled the Tim Allen-starring Last Man Standing in the face of decent ratings and a public outcry, but he's got a long career in TV comedy that gives him an edge. Especially with the star power of Michael Cudlitz now part of the package. Doyle has been a part of the writing and production teams for shows such as Roseanne, Better Off Ted, The Big Bang Theory, Dinosaurs and Sports Night, among many more. Here's hoping all the best parts of the shows he's worked on will shine through with this ten-member family.

As the new show is currently in development, it's not clear when we'll hear more updates from Tim Doyle's upcoming ABC pilot, but we're hoping it's a great match for Michael Cudlitz. While waiting to hear more, check out our midseason premiere schedule for all the shows we know are coming soon.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.