Last Man Standing isn’t only a family show, they also tackle political issues. Just like All In the Family, the ABC sitcom shows all side of the political front. Mike Baxter (Tim Allen) and his youngest daughter Eve (Kaitlyn Dever) are staunch Republicans, his eldest daughter Kristin (Amanda Fuller) and her husband Ryan (Jordan Masterson) are very liberal, and his wife Vanessa (Nancy Travis) and their middle child Mandy (Molly Ephraim) are in the middle. On many episodes, they each have their political views and by the end of the episode, they have listened to all sides and made a decision that suits them. Sometimes they see things Mike’s way, OK almost all of the time they do, but it is his show!
Seriously though, as a viewer, I find it is refreshing to watch a show on television that is not just one sided. So recently, when I got to talk to Tim Allen and Nancy Travis, I asked them about being a show that tackles politics.
Not only is Allen the star, he is also the Executive Producer, so I wanted to know how important that is to him. He said, “I adore my liberal friends. I just don’t see eye to eye with them. We don’t demonize them. That is what we do here very well.” Then he explained how, “We have a very liberal writing staff, maybe one or two conservatives on it. It is fun to see liberals make fun of themselves. And in the middle of that, the conservatives sometimes say, ‘We’re not going to say that.’
“Between liberals fighting, you have a mitigating factor, because they all love each other. We’ve all learned to listen to the other side. You can admire the other side, but they are not your demon. I think the best thing about this show is it is stacked. I think all the girls are liberal leaning, except maybe Nancy, but I think what it’s caused us to do on this set is listen to each other.”
How does his Nancy feel about it? Travis said, “I love it because I think this show is very different from anything else that is on television, and thru Tim’s character, Mike Baxter, we have a point of view you really don’t see anywhere on network television. I have been interesting to try to balance that and have counterpoint voices within the show but his voice has been a very clear point of view. It is interesting how many followers we’ve gotten and how many people are interested in watching the show.
“The show is reflecting other points of view in our country that you don’t really see in the media or on other shows. There are a whole lot of people who identify with the point of view of the show.” And at the end of the day she reminded us, “It’s not trying to tiptoe or be precious about anything. It’s, Here it is! It’s funny and it’s a joke. Have a laugh. Let’s find where we’re similar.”
So have a laugh, have several of them tonight and every Friday at 8p on ABC.
Tonight’s Chicago Fire on NBC at 10p is such a thriller, there is a moment that will leave you breathless.
There is a credible threat against the city of Chicago, but there are many different targets throughout the Windy City. Law enforcement asks all the first responders to help out with the threat. Unfortunately for our Chicago Fire team they are sent to ground zero. A man starts shooting inside and outside the building where some of our firefighters and the paramedics are located. The shooter is going room to room and shooting anyone he finds.
Will our team get out alive or will the murderer be taken out before he gets the chance. You don’t want to miss a single second of this suspenseful well-done episode.
The Muppets are back tonight at 8p on ABC. Not only are the reworking the show from behind the scenes, they are also reworking them from in front of the camera. There is a new executive at the network and she wants to make some changes to Miss Piggy’s talk show. She wants to make it more like Jimmy Fallon and James Corden’s shows, so Kermit decides to get the other Muppets to be a part of it with different type of bits. It has potential but falls flat.
Not as flat as next week’s show when Miss Piggy has a wardrobe malfunction. Her pig tail gets exposed and people are in a uproar over it.
Kristin Newman took over the ranks of the show; and I know from her past work on That ’70s Show, The Neighbors and Galvant, she is better than this. So I am just going to assume that is more of Bill Prady’s doing than her’s since the show hasn’t changed as Bob Kushell left.
Sadly the adult Muppets are missing the joy that we got from the original series. Until they bring it back this show won’t be.
Then at 8:30p on Fresh Off the Boat, it is time for a show with lot of heart.
It’s the Chinese New Year and the Huangs are all excited to go back home to spend it with their family and friends. Only problem is that Louis (Randall Park) screwed up the dates and they missed their flight. Now they have to find a place to celebrate it in Orlando which is harder than they thought.
Will they find a place to spend the New Year or will they spend it alone? I don’t care as long as we get to spend it with them.
It is getting rarer and rarer for a broadcast show to hit the 100 episode milestone and tonight at 8p on ABC, Last Man Standing does just that. I recently attended the cake cutting ceremony and I got to speak to some of the actors about what hitting the 3 digit number of episodes means to them.
This is the second time that Tim Allen has been on show that has lasted over five years, how does he feel about it? He said, “I love doing what I do. This is a huge, I get scared and I’m uncomfortable and I am not worth all this.” Then he added, “I am so happy what we got here because it means the world to the studio I work for. Business-wise it is good for us that it is a milestone.”
Even though they were taping the 100th show that night, he was already focused on 101. He said, “It is the next episode to me, and making sure that the characters are right and that the crew gets what they need. I do like shepherding this group. This is a huge event.” After this huge event, where does he see the family sitcom going, “Let’s say 200 episodes?”
A big part of why this show has lasted as long as it has is the chemistry between him and his TV wife is perfect. How does Nancy Travis feel about hitting “The Big 100”? She told me, “It is very surreal that we hit 100 episodes because it feels as if it flew by. It doesn’t feel old. It still feels new. That’s due largely to this group, the cast and Tim. I still think we could do another 100.” Where does she want her evolving character to go in the next 100 episodes, “I would like to see my character explore more in the marriage, and maybe explore conflicts and different relationships with adult daughters. I would love to see my character explore what it means to be a woman who is older and trying to figure out where her life is going and where she wants it to go.” Vanessa has gone through a lot of changes on the show, and most recently she quit her high paying job to become a teacher. Not only that, her youngest daughter is about to go college, her middle daughter has some big changes going on her life tonight and her oldest daughter is married with a kid. Soon Mike and Vanessa Baxter will most likely have the house to themselves after almost a quarter of a century, so there is a lot we can see happening for them.
Like hanging out more with their next door neighbors the Larabees, which is something I am not sure Mike wants because Chuck and him have a love/hate relationship. Jonathan Adams became a series regular on the show last year after two years of recurring. What does this milestone mean to him? He said, “It’s incredible. I mean, I have never done it before. I have never been to the 100th episode of anything. I’ve done the first season or I’ve made it to season three and no…” Then he added, “100 episodes is phenomenal and I am really happy to be here and be a part of it. I am just over the moon.”
His TV wife, Erika Alexander, also was on a show that aired over 100 episodes. I am sure you remember seeing her in Living Single that made it to 118 episodes. She understands how important this number is for a show as she told me, “In this day and age, with technology the way that it is and with so many shows you can watch. What it is, it is a real, it is more than just a celebration, it is an acknowledgement that something valuable is going on here and that it is needed. And that people do show up to shows that are not necessarily on cable or streaming. I really believe that’s a powerful thing in this day and age.” What does she credit the show’s longevity on, she explained. “That is down to Tim Allen’s appeal and the long standing history he has with his audience and building an audience and renewing that audience’s trust and comedy and family values. I think that is wonderful.”
Everything about Last Man Standing is wonderful. It reminds me of All in the Family. It is shows about a loving family with different points of view, who can argue with each other over them but they are always there to support themselves through the good times and the bad. That and there are a lot laughs during each episode and that is what is a sitcom is all about.
So if you missed the first 99 episodes, then you can easily start with tonight’s episode and watch the past ones on Netflix or syndication. If you have been watching the show since day 1 like me, then this is a must not miss episode.
Congratulations to the cast and crew of Last Man Standing for hitting the 100 episode milestone, here is to the next 100!
ABC’s Wednesday night comedies The Middle, The Goldbergs and Black-ish and Tuesday night’s Fresh Off the Boat are doing so well for them, that they ordered 2 more episodes of each this season bringing their totals to 24. But wait what about Modern Family, according to Deadline they are working on making that happen.
I have no complaints about this decision because I love all of those shows. I just wish that ABC could find some room on their Wednesday night lineup to include FOTB, but I guess they need to spread the cheer to another night. And we all need to laugh as many nights as possible these days.
For the last few weeks, you have been hearing that our favorite shows are getting ready for their fall finales; so when will they be back? Today, ABC announced when TGIT will return with new episodes and more importantly when Galavant will be back for it’s glorious second season. Now, that is something to sing about. Plus, this season they got 2 extra episodes.
Moving past Galavant, how do you feel about waiting until March for most of their shows to return?
SUNDAY, JANUARY 3
8:00-9:00 p.m. “Galavant” (Season 2 Premiere)
MONDAY, JANUARY 4
8:00-10:00 p.m. “The Bachelor” (Season 20 Premiere)
TUESDAY, JANUARY 5
9:00-11:00 p.m. “Marvel’s Agent Carter” (Season 2 Premiere, 2 hours, regular time period 9-10 p.m.)
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6
10:00 p.m. “American Crime” (Season 2 Premiere)
THURSDAY, JANUARY 7
8:00-10:00 p.m. “My Diet Is Better Than Yours” (Series Premiere, 2 hours)
10:00 p.m. “Beyond the Tank” (Season Premiere)
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2
8:00 p.m. “The Muppets” (New Episodes)
8:30 p.m. “Fresh Off the Boat” (New Episodes)
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11
8:00 p.m. “Grey’s Anatomy” (New Episodes)
9:00 p.m. “Scandal” (New Episodes)
10:00 p.m. “How to Get Away with Murder” (New Episodes)
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 2
8:30 p.m. “The Real O’Neals” (Sneak Preview)
9:30 p.m. “The Real O’Neals” (Sneak Preview)
THURSDAY, MARCH 3
9:00 p.m. “The Family” (Sneak Preview)
SUNDAY, MARCH 6
8:00 p.m. “Once Upon a Time” (New Episodes)
9:00 p.m. “The Family” (Time Period Premiere)
10:00 p.m. “Quantico” (New Episodes)
TUESDAY, MARCH 8
8:00 p.m. “Fresh Off the Boat” (New Time Period)
8:30 p.m. “The Real O’Neals” (Time Period Premiere)
9:00 p.m. “Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D” (Series Return, New Episodes)
10:00 p.m. “Of Kings & Prophets” (Series Premiere)
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 9
10:00 p.m. “American Crime” (Season Finale)
WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16
10:00 p.m. “Nashville” (Series Return, New Episodes)
THURSDAY, MARCH 17
10:00 p.m. “How to Get Away with Murder” (Season Finale)
THURSDAY, MARCH 24
10:00 p.m. “The Catch” (Series Premiere)
Even though Minority Report, The Player, Truth Be Told and Blood & Oil were basically cancelled, they are still airing. We wondered how low would a show have to go for a network to pull it from the lineup. Today we found out. On Tuesday, Wicked City was seen by only 1.7 million people, and this upcoming Tuesday it will be seen by 0 people. That is because ABC pulled the plug on the ABC serial killer show.
This has not been a good year for shows that stars former Gossip Girl actors. First Jessica Szohr’s Complications was cancelled by USA after one season. Chace Crawford’s Blood & Oil saw its episode order cut from 13 to 10 and now Ed Westwick’s show Wicked City only aired 3 episodes.
The good news is that CBS ordered the back 9 episodes for Limitless, the bad news is that NBC’s The Player had its episode order count cut down to 9 from 13. The news is not really a surprise for either show.
When it comes to The Player, I didn’t hate it. It just wasn’t the type of show I watch and I guess others felt the same way.
When it comes to Limitless, I stopped watching it midway through the second episode. While I got bored with that show, others did not. Thus, why it will be around until May.
How do feel about today’s TV news?
UPDATE: The well has run dry for Blood & Oil because ABC cut their episode order down to 10 from 13. Not shocking at all because the show was treacherous to watch.
The good news is for some reason Fox picked up Rosewood for a full season by ordering the back 9 episodes. Chances are they did this because all their other new shows have proven to be ratings disappointments even though they are all better than the cop show. Which proves placement matters. If only Grandfathered, The Grinder or Scream Queens got the timeslot before Empire, they would be doing better. Oh well.
The bad news is that after 6 years, Rookie Blue was cancelled. At least the show went out on a high note with Andy’s wedding and not a cliffhanger. Personally, I am sad to see this summer show go away. It wasn’t game changing television, but it was something fun to watch during the TV season hiatus. Oh well, at least there is still Mistresses. Who is watching that crap anyways?
On Friday, NBC announced that they picked up Blindspot for a full season and today ABC announced that they are doing the same for Quantico. Unlike Blindspot that got an additional 9 episode order, the FBI drama was only picked up for 6 more episodes.
Why they are only doing 19 episodes instead of the traditional 22, we don’t know. But I can’t fault their decision because after 3 episodes, I am struggling to keep interest in the show. Too many characters, too many twists, too many turns, too much for my brain on Sunday night. I think if they ease up on all of that, they will keep people interested. If not, they will continue to lose viewers like they did this week.
How do you feel about Quantico?
Last season, ABC had a great show on the air called Forever, and then they cancelled it for two horrible dramas Blood & Oil and Wicked City. But that is not the point.
So a big part about Forever is whenever Dr Henry Morgan would die and come back to life, he would come to in a body of water completely naked. Well, we never saw him naked on the show.
That was then and this is now. Over the weekend when Ioan Gruffudd was watching his Welsh team beat England, he got a little excited. His wife thought it so was cute that she recorded him jumping up and down, screaming at the television in just his underwear. Since he was overheating, he then decided to jump completely nude in their pool. Even though she told him she stopped recording, she didn’t. Alice Evans was able to capture a photo of her hubby butt naked mid-jump.
Looking at how cute his super moon is, I wish ABC would’ve showed it once or twice when Forever was on the air like they showed Dennis Franz’s on NYPD Blue. Maybe if they did, we would still be watching new episodes of Forever instead of the nothing that ABC currently has programmed on Tuesdays at 10p. Can you tell I am still bitter about its cancellation?
To see the money shot, then click here!