Last Man Standing was one of the top shows on Friday nights for six seasons. Then ABC canceled it, to the surprise of everyone involved. And then, again, to the surprise of everyone involved, Fox brought the show back to life. The return of the sitcom starring Tim Allen and Nancy Travis had huge ratings, the premiere was watched by 8.1 million viewers and notched a 1.8 rating in the coveted 18-49 demographic. Travis said those numbers felt "great."
"We were very excited to come back and were hoping the audience would be there and support us and they were," she told E! News during a recent set visit. "Better than we ever could've expected, really."
The show was last on in March 2017 on ABC before the Friday, Sept. 28, 2018 premiere on Fox.
Allen said he would always check the Home Improvement numbers, but said this time he was busy with his mother's 90th birthday and got the news via a tweet. "Everybody expected a reasonable amount of success, not what they got. It was quite startling, and actually overwhelming," Allen said. Now, he said he's waiting for the bad news, the flip side of the good news here.
Last Man Standing has flirted with politics before, but showrunner Kevin Abbott said the show would not mention Donald Trump by name anymore. Allen said, "It just hasn't come up in the script."
"I don't know that it was a dictate handed down that we weren't going to mention Trump, but we're a show about a family who has different viewpoints and that family still manages to find their way to each other and be a family," Travis said. "I think if you set out to create a ‘political' show, then you're creating a political show, you're not creating a sitcom."
Click play on the video above to hear more from Travis and Allen. Be sure to watch E! News to see more from our set visit.
Last Man Standing airs Fridays, 8 p.m. on Fox.