How the ‘Last Man Standing’ Revival Will Deal With Donald Trump’s Presidency
There’s no question that Fox revived Last Man Standing for a seventh season because of the success of Roseanne. On that show, the main character, Roseanne Conner, was a Trump supporter, and that may have been part of what drew viewers to it. But although the lead of Last Man Standing is a conservative, the show ended before it really delved into Trump that much. So will that change in the revival? How big a part of the show will Trump be?
Certainly, we can expect references to Donald Trump, as there had been in the previous season. However, unlike Roseanne, the show is apparently not going to tell us whether Mike Baxter is actually a Trump supporter.
“Right now, the producers plan to simply not address whether or not he might be a Trump supporter,” Fox executive Gary Newman said at the Television Critics Association’s summer tour today, according to USA Today critic Kelly Lawler.
Newman noted that this could change over time, but that’s currently the plan, so we at least shouldn’t expect any references to Mike being a Trump supporter during the first few episodes.
Tim Allen himself did address whether his character would be a Trump supporter, though, even if this won’t come up on the show.
On Last Man Standing, Tim Allen’s character hosts a talk show on the internet, and he frequently criticizes liberals like Hillary Clinton. The sitcom was embraced by those on the right, who were excited to see a rare example of a television comedy that had a conservative point of view.
Last Man Standing went off the air in March 2017, so there were not too many episodes that would have been written after Donald Trump was elected president. Although this was an event that radically changed the country, Last Man Standing‘s sixth season was its least political yet, focusing more on the family than on the political commentary, as pointed out by critic Todd VanDerWerff.
When the show was canceled last year, some on the right wondered whether it was because ABC no longer wanted to have a show with a right-leaning point of view on the air in the current climate. Tim Allen, who himself is a Trump supporter, seemed to feel that way, saying in an interview, “There’s nothing more dangerous, especially in this climate, than a funny, likable conservative.”
ABC insisted that this wasn’t the case, and less than a year later, they were the ones to bring Roseanne back and allow Barr to paint Trump supporters in a fairly positive light. Fox has admitted that it revived Last Man Standing due to the success of Roseanne, so one would assume the new season would lean heavily into the politics in order to capture the Roseanne audience. It sounds like that won’t necessarily be the case, though.
Last Man Standing returns for its seventh season this fall on Fox. New episodes will air every Friday. You can read more about the upcoming season here.