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Last Man Standing Mike Baxter Tim Allen Nancy Travis Vanessa Baxter FOX

Last Man Standing is one of the many shows that was forced to halt production in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic but, luckily, fans can still be excited because Fox has renewed the fan-favorite sitcom for a ninth season. However, just because the show is moving forward after what's happened, that doesn't mean it won't address the real-life event at all.

Never one to shy away from real-life events, Last Man Standing plans to explore the coronavirus crisis on screen, and it sounds like there will be more to the show addressing it than a few lines from Tim Allen’s notably opinionated Mike. Discussing how fans could see the series handle it, Last Man Standing’s showrunner, Kevin Abbott, said :

We try to keep it as real as we can. The virus would have impacted the [Last Man Standing] universe. I'm going to have to look at, what happened to pot shops? What was that experience like? I guarantee you Outdoor Man will be facing the repercussions of the economy. How did lockdown affect outdoor equipment use? How are they going to re-open? We will ask ourselves all those questions to see how lockdown affected all of that.

Kevin Abbott's comments to TV Guide are interesting. To be honest, there's a lot more for Last Man Standing to potentially cover than I first thought. Both of the businesses that take center stage on the long-running sitcom would be impacted, as Mike is not the only family member who would be hit by the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

This all goes pretty deep into Last Man Standing’s history. Mike, his daughters (Kristin and Mandy), and his son-in-law Kyle (Mandy’s husband), all work at Outdoor Man. Meanwhile, Kristin’s husband, Ryan, is running Bud’s Buds, the one-time pot dispensary of Mike’s late father, Bud.

Suffice it to say, the Baxters and their extended family could have a lot to deal with when we next see them. Last Man Standing’s central family had been doing pretty well financially between Outdoor Man, Bud’s Buds, and Vanessa’s tutoring service. Vanessa’s venture had actually done so well that Mike tried to buy her an office in Season 8.

Off screen, Last Man Standing came just shy of its season finale, before having to halt production for the season. As a result, May’s impromptu season-ender culminated in a cliffhanger, and Kevin Abbott was not the biggest fan of this development for a good reason.

Last Man Standing left off with Kristin having gone into labor with her baby girl, and Kristin’s family was waiting for the newest arrival when the episode ended. During this time, recently returned Baxter daughter, Eve, also shared a touching moment with her parents. It was a sudden end to what was clearly meant as a two-part season finale, and it left fans with lots to look forward to.

The events of the Season 8 finale will now be rolled into Season 9’s premiere. Tim Allen already teased the series’ return as something worth looking forward to (and I am). As for how much fans will get to see of Kaitlyn Dever’s Eve when Last Man Standing resumes, stay tuned.

The Fox sitcom clearly hopes to bring her back. Given that Eve was in the waiting room when Last Man Standing left off, it would be awkward for her not to be around in Season 9’s premiere. And Aunt Eve wouldn't want to miss the arrival of her niece.

The long-lasting Last Man Standing will return for Season 9 at some point after this summer’s premieres on Fox. While you wait for the next season of the Tim Allen starrer to arrive, remember that you can check out reruns on CMT.

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