How Last Man Standing's Showrunner Would've Made Season 9's Time Jump Different In Hindsight

Mike Baxter pointing a finger Last Man Standing Fox

Last Man Standing is in its final season, and despite some hiccups that happened towards the end of last season with production and COVID-19, the series pulled off its return quite nicely. Rather than attempt to pull together the cast to film the second part of the previous season's finale, showrunner Kevin Abbott opted instead for a much simpler time jump, which has worked out well for the series.

As successful as it was, CinemaBlend had to ask Kevin Abbott if there's anything he would've changed about it in hindsight. While he was in agreement that the executed idea worked out fine, the Last Man Standing showrunner did reveal one change he would've made looking back on it now.

It worked out well. I mean, quite honestly, looking back, I would have said that two years is too short a time for everything to kind of have worked itself out. Because it wasn't just the pandemic we were dealing with, you know. We came back in June, and had to start plotting on the season. We like to know, in general, what we think the end point of the season is going to be before we begin, so we kind of plot out a lot of different arcs for the characters. We were dealing with, at that point in time, the pandemic, the social justice issues, Black Lives Matters and everything. We were dealing with the upcoming election, which by the time we aired - we aired at the beginning of January - the election was already going to have taken place. So it literally was [us] looking at it going, 'Okay, do we really want to take a shot at predicting how all of this stuff is going to go?' And my resounding answer was 'No, I do not.' The odds of us getting it right are really small.

Last Man Standing chose to sidestep making any bold predictions on how many of the events that would unfold in 2020 would pan out, which definitely has helped the show avoid any embarrassing mistakes in its final season. At the same time, I can totally understand the sentiment that the Baxter family having absolutely nothing to say on anything that unfolded during that period of time two years later a bit weird.

With that said, Last Man Standing and many other shows had to make changes for their productions. While steering clear of most current events in its final season may seem weird now, I'm sure the series will hold up better over time than it would've had the show gone much further into the future. Kevin Abbott said that wasn't a direction people wanted to go anyway and ultimately stood by the decision.

So that's was the reason we put it forward that way, and we only did two years because we didn't want to put it too far; Tim didn't want to go too far ahead, because he felt that might be weird. So yeah, looking at it right now, we actually did pretty good. We actually did pretty good on that stuff. We had to avoid questions about who won, and you know, the show has a political element to it; obviously, the main character has political leanings. But we avoided a lot of that issue, just because we had no idea, and it's just a very raw subject for most of America still. So it just felt like a better thing to go, 'Let's not even go into those arenas, because we can look really stupid and make our characters look really stupid.' It doesn't really matter how I look, but if the characters look bad, that's bad for the show.

Last Man Standing has had a solid run thus far, and in an era where syndication and streaming deals can keep a series lucrative for years to come, making sure the series stuck the landing in the final season is indeed important. So far, fans seem to be on board with the direction, so despite any second thoughts or questions Kevin Abbott may have about past decisions on the time jump, it appears it all worked out for the best.

Last Man Standing airs on Fox Thursdays at 9:00 p.m. ET. Hopefully, fans have been enjoying the final season just as much as I have, though I do wish they would've left that dreadful puppet out of the mix.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

I like good television but also reality television. His day largely consists of balancing his workload between reporting on the latest and greatest news in Star Trek and other sci-fi, as well as 90 Day Fiancé, WWE, Big Brother, and more.