As the seventh season of “Last Man Standing” nears, there will be some changes coming in the lives of lead character Mike Baxter and his family, actor Tim Allen, who plays Baxter, said Thursday.
Allen spoke to the media at the 2018 Television Critics Associations’ Summer Press Tour in Beverly Hills on Thursday, Fox News reported.
Allen and Executive Producer and Showrunner Kevin Abbott said that although the show — now on Fox — often includes political humor, there will not be a direct mention of President Donald Trump.
“Mike Baxter is a conservative Republican. He holds those ideals, but the character himself, I don’t think we’re going to address (Trump) one way or the other,” Abbott said.
Allen said he views his character as “a centrist.”
“This guy’s a practical guy,” Allen said. “He owns a big business. If it’s helping his business, he’s probably pro-Trump. He probably doesn’t defend him.”
“Whatever’s good for his business and good for the state of Colorado or any policies that he does he’s going to go with,” he added.
The show will pick up the Baxter family as though a year and a half had passed since viewers last saw them, Abbott said.
But in the changes, one familiar face will disappear.
“One person who won’t be coming back with us is Molly Ephraim,” said Executive Producer Matt Berry. Ephraim played Mandy Baxter, one of the Baxter family’s three daughters. The character will remain, though, with a different actress.
“We’re also planning on bringing another character on the show. The Vanessa character when she was in her teens, went on a foreign exchange,” he said and will bring in an exchange student to live with the family.
“You’re going to have a student from a different political system, and then you have Mike Baxter, who is going to promote the American way,” Allen said.
Another new actor will be for Boyd Baxter, the son of oldest daughter, Kristen Baxter, played by Amanda Fuller and husband, Ryan Vogelson, played by Jordan Masterson.
When the show returns on Sept. 28, Berry said long-time fans will get something special “in the first scene of the first show.”
During the session, talk turned to ABC, which axed “Last Man Standing.” The network also dropped “Roseanne” after a tweet by Roseanne Barr raised hackles.
Allen declined to bash the network, which was denounced by the show’s fans as having dropped the show because it did follow the liberal line.
“I’ve worked for ABC for years. I know these people,” he said, according to USA Today. “If it was political motivation to move that show, they certainly wouldn’t … ever show that side of themselves. I don’t believe that it was. I think it was a financial decision on ABC’s part. I think it was way too early. We’re here because of it.”
Abbott said the shows were fundamentally different.
“The only similarities that we have with the ‘Roseanne’ show is that we’re a family sitcom and that the central character has a more conservative view,” Abbott said.
“The ‘Roseanne’ reboot handled a lot of topical issues. They were (doing) the issue-of-the-week kind of thing. We don’t really do issues of the week,” he said. “We consider ourselves a family show with a traditional character at the center of it, which is only unusual in today’s environment.”
Allen defended Barr, CNN reported.
“I go way back with Rosie and that’s not the Roseanne that I know,” he said. “Whatever got in her head isn’t the Roseanne I know.”
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