Last Man Standing is a long-running series at this point. Season 8 just premiered after a scheduling situation left it off the fall schedule. Having been without the Baxters since May 2019, Fox announced that the fan-favorite sitcom would return right after the new year. In its eighth season, Tim Allen shared his amazement over Last Man Standing’s longevity.
Eight seasons and over 150 episodes is a considerable accomplishment. Tim Allen shared just what an accomplishment it is. Last Man Standing is a family comedy that chronicles the funny day-to-day activities of Mike Baxter, his wife Vanessa, and their three daughters. Now in Season 8, that also includes Mike’s sons-in-law and their ever-changing families. What is the secret to the comedy's longevity? Tim Allen told Fox News:
It sounds redundant, but it's a very difficult thing -- situation comedies on television on any network. Getting this to have an arc in 18 minutes or 22 minutes with commercials -- what it eventually does and the staff that we got -- we're like a pro football team that came back because I don't know how to describe the writing staff on this show, the leadership in this show, the crew on this saying, ‘We are veterans.’ I'm always amazed that they've come up with a new idea at all.
As Tim Allen points out, the life of a sitcom writer has to be challenging. Every episode has to have a dilemma that is eventually worked out in the limited time that Allen mentions. I cannot imagine how tricky of a feat that is. While Allen now stars on Last Man Standing, he is no stranger to starring in a long-running sitcom.
For eight seasons, Tim Allen starred as Tim Taylor on the ABC series, Home Improvement, opposite Patricia Richardson. It ran from 1991 to 1999. Fast forward a little over a decade, and Allen joined Last Man Standing, which has survived cancellation and a network change. Allen’s confidence in the writers of the now-Fox series remains strong. Continuing his praise, Allen said:
Headed up by Kevin Abbott, I just think these guys really know what a story is. And they want to lay comedy on top of drama. And it's very difficult and it's such a challenge, and they do it. And I'm just going, 'Look, we've got one more,' I think we're into five now. And I said, 'OK, we did it again.' My mind goes, 'It's going to drop. This is going [down]. We're veterans and we can break a leg really quick.’
Tim Allen seems both amazed by the writers and pleased with how things are going. He is not alone in being enthusiastic over Season 8. His Last Man Standing co-stars have expressed similar excitement. For an actor to be this pleased after eight seasons speaks volumes. Given what Allen is saying, it sounds like the show’s creative waters are still flowing.
Last Man Standing has been standing for a long time and considering its track record in the ratings, it should keep doing so. As for the series’ episodic plots, thanks to the Baxters’ lives changing all the time, it has helped fuel them. Eldest Baxter daughters, Kristin and Mandy, are married and working on growing their respective families.
The Season 8 premiere revealed that Kristin is expecting her second child with her husband Ryan. Meanwhile, Mandy is currently working on starting a family with her husband Kyle. As for Mike and Vanessa’s youngest daughter, Eve, Last Man Standing fans should expect to see less of her this season. She did appear in the premiere!
Last Man Standing returned as one of this winter’s premieres. New episodes of the hit sitcom air on Thursdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.