When Fox saved Tim Allen's Last Man Standing earlier this spring, it was assumed the former ABC sitcom would fill the conservative void left by Roseanne's cancellation. However, when the cast and producers of Last Man Standing assembled at the Television Critics Association summer press tour Thursday, they revealed that although Allen's character maintains his political beliefs, the show is not going to tackle Trump.
"I don't think that we're going to comment specifically on Trump," executive producer Kevin Abbot said. "Mike Baxter is a conservative. He's a Republican. He holds those ideals. ... I don't think we're going to address [it] one way or the other."
While Allen is an outspoken Republican and was very outspoken about his political leanings when the show was originally canceled two seasons ago, he was stern about separating himself from Mike Baxter on Last Man Standing.
"I've said this a of couple times. I'm not the character I play... Keanu Reeves didn't murder 122 people in John Wick. He's not a killer. He may in fact be — I don't know him — but what's interesting to me is that I personally like pissing people off, getting the conversation going."
And while Allen has long lamented the lack of conservative representation on TV, he doesn't think ABC pulled Roseanne off the air because of politics. "I've worked at ABC for years; I know those people. I don't think there was any political motivation to move that show, and you certainly wouldn't get anyone to admit it or show that side of things," he said. "I think it was a financial decision on ABC's part. I think that it was too early and we're here because of it."
In a surprising turn of events, the writers of Last Man Standing were actually preparing for Hillary Clinton to win the 2016 election.
"We really planned, like so many other people, that Mrs. Clinton would have been president, so we had a bank of stuff going on there," Allen said. "The night that Trump pulled it off, everybody — forget the politics, those of us who are in the comedy business went 'shoot!' Because now you don't have all that pantsuit stuff, just the jokes that she would find funny as well. That's the comedy side. We want both sides to think it's funny."
Politics aside, Last Man Standing still hopes to show the same family spirit Roseanne showed in the face of divided political standings, even if the show isn't having the conversation.
"One of the reasons this show is so relevant right now is that this is a show where this is a family who stays together, no matter what," said executive producer Matt Berry. "You're allowed to dissent in this family. You're allowed to disagree in this family, but at the end of the day that can't separate us as a family."
Last Man Standing returns Friday, Sept. 27 at 8/7c on Fox.