Season 9 of Last Man Standing is officially a go, and though writing and production on Season 9 haven't started yet, the team is already thinking of how to make the sitcom timely and relevant when it returns. As TV Guide already reported, there's going to be a new addition to the family, more Eve going forward, and even a chance that Mike (Tim Allen) and his son-in-law Ryan (Jordan Masterson) will find some common ground. Certainly the show would have more twists and turns in mind too, but there's also the matter of addressing the elephant in the room too: coronavirus.
Producers are already thinking about how the show might address what's happening in the real world given that, well, Last Man Standing takes place in present-day America. And though the show has yet to formally move forward plotting storylines and episodes, its key players are already thinking about how COVID-19 would factor in. “We kind of have to,” Tim Allen told TV Guide in a recent conversation, adding that he isn't sure how yet but “there's a new normal” that needs to be addressed.
In a separate conversation, showrunner and executive producer Kevin Abbott began to guess at some of the ways coronavirus might show up. “The world has changed,” Abbott said. “Everything we had planned has gone out the window.”
As we've seen in the real world, small businesses have been hit hard so that means Outdoor Man and Bud's Buds could be facing financial hardships or other challenges. “We try to keep it as real as we can. The virus would have impacted the [Last Man Standing] universe. I'm going to have to look at, what happened to pot shops? What was that experience like? I guarantee you Outdoor Man will be facing the repercussions of the economy. How did lockdown affect outdoor equipment use? How are they going to re-open? We will ask ourselves all those questions to see how lockdown affected all of that.”
Humor, he said, can help shrink down the sadness and pain we've all been feeling, and he sees potential for Last Man Standing to help people heal in some small way. “Even though we're a sitcom, the value we can bring is illuminating issues and problems families can relate to.”
Last Man Standing concluded Season 8 in April. Previous episodes available to stream on Hulu.