‘Last Man Standing’ returns but without two of its cast members

When “Last Man Standing” makes its return to television later this fall, it will be without two of the sitcom’s cast members.

The popular series starring Tim Allen will be returning for its seventh season but Molly Ephraim, who played Allen’s daughter Mandy and Flynn Morrison, who played Allen’s grandson Boyd Baxter, will not be rejoining the cast, according to Deadline Monday.

Ephraim and Morrison’s roles are being recast before the season 7 revival which will begin airing on Fox after ABC cancelled the sitcom last May.

Allen teased the return of the series in a tweet featuring a photo of his character, Mike Baxter, along with actress Nancy Travis, who plays his wife on the show.

Allen and Travis will be rejoined with other original cast members, Jonathan Adams, Amanda Fuller, Christoph Sanders and Jordan Masterson. Hector Elizondo is also slated to return after his NBC comedy pilot “Guess Who Died” was not picked up, Deadline reported.

Kaitlyn Dever, who played Allen’s youngest daughter Eve Baxter, is reportedly in talks with Fox for a recurring role in the upcoming season as she had already signed on to star in a Netflix drama, according to Variety.

Despite the show’s success, ABC cancelled the series and prompted a wave of backlash blaming the network’s attack on the sitcom’s conservative-leaning politics. Fans were thrilled – as was Allen – at news that Fox was picking up the show.

“Excited?” Allen told Fox News at the time. “Team LMS was in the sixth inning, ahead by four runs, stands were packed, and then for no reason, they call off the game. It leaves you sitting in the dugout, holding a bat and puzzled. Now we get the news from Fox that it’s time to get back out on that diamond! Hell yes, I’m excited!”

“When I heard the offer to create more episodes of ‘Last Man Standing,’ I did a fist pump so hard I threw my back out,” he added. “It’s the fans! I could not be more grateful for the fans who wrote petitions and kept up the passion and incredible support for the show.”

The show, about a married man striving to maintain his manliness while he is outnumbered by his wife and three daughters, will be returning to its longtime Friday 8 PM slot in the fall.

“And a fist pump — ouch — for Dana Walden and Gary Newman at Fox for not only listening to the fans but for making the bold move to bring ‘Last Man Standing’ back,” Allen told Fox News. “I’m sure audiences will be curious to see what we look like after all these years. Oh, has it only been one year? Well, just goes to show you, a lot can happen in a year.”

Fans were disappointed to hear Ephraim and Morrison would not be reprising their roles, but nevertheless celebrated the return of the series, especially in light of the demise of “Roseanne.”

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Frieda Powers

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