Last Man Standing is finally poised to return to Fox following a hiatus lasting more than half a year in January, thanks to an overstuffed Fox fall TV lineup. Now that Thursday Night Football has come to an end, a slot in the Fox lineup has opened up for the new year, and the exploits of Tim Allen's Mike Baxter and Co. will soon get back into swing. That's not to say Last Man Standing will hold off from poking fun at its second network due to the extra long hiatus, though!
Following in the footsteps of the ad that took shots at ABC for its initial cancellation, Last Man Standing released a Season 8 promo clip (which will also function as the cold open of the Season 8 premiere in January) that took some (admittedly, much gentler and lighthearted) jabs at Fox for the schedule switcheroo, and it brought in none other than Thursday Night Football's Terry Bradshaw to deliver the laughs. Take a look!
Poor Terry Bradshaw! First he gets booted by The Masked Singer last season, and now this? All he wanted to do was watch Thursday Night Football, comfy on the Baxter couch, and he got some bad news! Bradshaw immediately questioned why "the networks" would do something as appalling as taking Thursday Night Football off the air, and all Mike could say was that they do a lot of weird stuff because "they're based in California."
Terry Bradshaw did recover from the blow of learning that Thursday Night Football has wrapped for the season, because that meant he could binge-watch some "Downtown Abbey." Vanessa let him down gently but firmly, because she and Mike intended to watch their favorite show, and the description was pretty much of Last Man Standing to the letter.
For a moment, I thought the promo might go a little less meta and say that their favorite show is Home Improvement -- which does have some similarities to Last Man Standing -- but the clip just went full meta all the way! Could it have worked without Terry Bradshaw himself in the mix? Maybe, but the big name from Thursday Night Football really elevated the ad into something special.
Last Man Standing executive producer Kevin Abbott explained the decision to go full meta and bring in Terry Bradshaw in a chat with TVLine, saying this:
We came up with [the idea] internally, thinking about the fact that last year, when we made the move to Fox, we did a bit of a meta cold open. Because we’re switching time slots, we thought we’d see if there’s a way to play with that, as well. Terry was very gracious and agreed to do it, and then we expanded on that. We said it’d be funny if we did some spots that we’d place throughout the TNF season that made it a little story, where we actually see them watching football on Thursday nights. [T]he conclusion of a story, as opposed to just a completely stand-alone cold open.
This clip undoubtedly would have been entertaining with the Baxters and Terry Bradshaw for Last Man Standing and Thursday Night Football fans even if it was standalone, but it decidedly wasn't, and Fox's method of delivering laughs while promoting Last Man Standing throughout its prolonged hiatus meant viewers wouldn't forget about the series while the January 2020 premiere date was still far off.
Check out an earlier Last Man Standing ad, featuring Terry Bradshaw enjoying Thursday Night Football a little bit too much at the Baxter home:
With Last Man Standing premiering Season 8 on Thursday, January 2 on Fox, there will be no more need for clips of Terry Bradshaw crashing the Baxter couch. Fox will also reward fans who have been waiting for months on end with three weeks of back-to-back episodes, beginning January 2 at 8 p.m. ET and continuing until the January 23 broadcast that takes the Baxters back to business as usual with one episode a week.
While that does mean less time with Last Man Standing per week, it does also mean the 22-episode season will last longer into 2020 than if it continued doubling up on Thursday nights! You can also catch up on the first seven season via streaming Hulu, and be sure to swing by our 2020 winter and spring TV premiere schedule for the important TV dates in the new year.