Considering Last Man Standing's Season 8 renewal came back in April, fans of the Fox sitcom were not among the plethora of viewers suffering the losses of so many cancellations in the past week. There was some bad news, in that Last Man Standing wasn't included on Fox's fall primetime schedule, but star Tim Allen himself dissuaded some of the blowback by explaining Fox's plan for Last Man Standing includes a potentially positive schedule change in 2020.
In NYC at the Fox Network upfronts. Big news and kinda cool they are moving LMS to Thursday. So after football Thursdays are done they are teeing us up for a big Thursday comedy night.
In his tweet, Tim Allen cleared up a few things about why Last Man Standing wasn't one of the more prominent entries in Fox's Fall 2019 schedule. Even if he didn't, or couldn't, answer why the network left live-action comedy out of the fall lineup completely. (Sunday night's Animation Domination will be the only chance for Fox to get laughs.)
As fans would have noticed, when the fall season starts up, Fox's new deal with the WWE will come out in full force with the Friday-night debut of Smackdown Live. The WWE's extended Friday-night time slot didn't exactly leave much room for Last Man Standing to fit in, and considering Smackdown Live airs year-round without seasonal hiatuses, that left zero room for Tim Allen's hit sitcom to fit back into.
Luckily, Thursday nights are just such a home for temporary content, with NFL Thursday Night Football airing eleven regular season football games between September and December. So rather than figuring out a way to partner WWE wrestling with other scripted fare, Fox decided to bring Last Man Standing earlier into the primetime week by giving it a Thursday-night home in 2020.
Arguably, this is the best time for Last Man Standing to make the leap from Friday nights to Thursday nights, considering The Big Bang Theory is days away from its series finale, meaning it won't be around to clobber other shows with its viewership domination. Granted, ABC will still have Grey's Anatomy there to sway audiences, and NBC's comedy lineup has only gotten stronger with each new season of Superstore, with Brooklyn Nine-Nine also waiting until 2020 to return for its new season.
Though Last Man Standing's ratings and viewership tumbled a bit at the end of Season 7, the show's numbers before that weren't too far below those of Grey's, which would likely be its biggest competition. And those were Friday-night stats being used for Last Man Standing, so logic would dictate that moving to a more popular primetime night will only increase the family comedy's viewership odds.
It's too bad, however, that Last Man Standing won't be returning until at least January 2020, considering Tim Allen's next big screen animated adventure is coming this summer. As such, we likely won't get to see any more Toy Story 4 humor popping up on the show. That is, unless the Pixar sequel manages to blow the box office wide open, thus giving the Last Man Standing writers the impetus to spread the good cheer whenever the Season 8 production kicks off.
Just to throw it out there, how weird would it be to have Tom Hanks, Annie Potts, Joan Cusack, John Ratzenberger and the rest showing up on Last Man Standing for cameo appearances? Again, that would have to happen way too late to be a proper promotion for Toy Story 4, but it would still be kind of amazing for TV fans in general. Much more so than if Last Man Standing decided to set up a Christmas with the Kranks reunion episode.
For now, there's a lot of summer TV and fall TV getting in the way of fans' first look at Last Man Standing Season 8, but you can be sure that CinemaBlend will be here once Tim Allen starts spreading more news about the hit sitcom's post-football future.