Last Man Standing's New Mandy Actress Has A Great Response To Recasting Backlash

Last Man Standing Molly Ephraim as Mandy Baxter on ABC and Molly McCook as Mandy Baxter on Fox

Last Man Standing went through a few changes in its Season 7 move from ABC to Fox. Arguably the biggest change was the recasting of middle daughter Mandy Baxter. Molly Ephraim played the character for the first six seasons on ABC but chose not to return for Season 7. The role was recast with Molly McCook, who is tall and blonde and basically looks nothing like the original Mandy. That was turned into a joke in the Season 7 premiere, but it took fans a while to get used to the new actress.

New Mandy actress Molly McCook took the brunt of the recasting backlash, but she chose to focus on the positive when asked about fan feedback:

Everyone is very vocal about their feelings -- that’s the reason why the show is back, because of the fans. At first, people had a little bit of a hard time with the change-up, but the supportive ones are the ones that stand out to me. I always am responsive because it matters so much to me to hear the positive; I thank them every time.

Good for her. We hear so much about "haters" and "critics," and so few stars single out their supporters the way Molly McCook did in her chat with TVLine.

It helped that Last Man Standing kept the basics of Mandy's character intact -- that she's a fashion-obsessed aspiring designer who married her boyfriend Kyle in Season 6. Molly McCook said they considered dyeing her hair darker, but decided the embrace the difference rather than just trying to duplicate what had been done with Molly Ephraim.

The Mandy recasting was one of a few overall changes in Season 7, with more characters still being added to the team.

ABC cancelled Last Man Standing after six seasons, despite its healthy ratings. Fox picked up the comedy for Season 7 and it has continued to do well. The show was off last week but continues tonight with an hour of back-to-back episodes on Friday, February 15.

In tonight's Episode 13 and Episode 14, Mike Baxter (Tim Allen) plans to take his officiating duty to the next level when Chuck and Carol decide to renew their vows. Then, when Chuck is away on his honeymoon, Ed takes over Outdoor Man security duties with a new approach. Meanwhile, Mandy and Kyle combine their finances and things go less than smoothly.

There will reportedly be 22 episodes in the current Last Man Standing Season 7. Fox has yet to officially renew the show for Season 8, since it's still pretty early, but there are already plans in place to move it from Friday night in the 2019-2020 season, due to WWE moving to Fridays.

For now, Last Man Standing is staying put on Friday nights on Fox for this season. If/when Fox renews the show for Season 8, it will also have to announce the new night for the Season 8 premiere this fall. Keep up with all of the TV dates in our midseason 2019 schedule.

Gina Carbone

Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.