‘Last Man Standing’s Tim Allen on Mike & Vanessa as Empty Nesters in Season 8


Change is in the air, and not just because Last Man Standing now airs on Thursdays.

The sitcom that’s always been about Outdoor Man marketing director Mike Baxter (Tim Allen) and smart wife Vanessa (Nancy Travis) raising three spirited daughters opens Season 8 on New Year’s Day morning with mom missing her grown kids.

Allen (above left, with Terry Bradshaw, who guest stars as himself in the premiere’s cold open) previews the new dynamic in the return’s back-to-back episodes.

Foreign exchange student Jen (Krista Marie Yu) still lives with the Baxters, but Vanessa is having a much harder time than Mike as an empty nester. Why?

Tim Allen: She spent more time as the primary parent. Mike was on the road and running the stores. He’s excited that he gets his wife back. I think she’s scared about her life. It’s been so defined by those girls.

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In happy news: Kristin (Amanda Fuller), the eldest, is expecting again — and this time she’s married to Ryan (Jordan Masterson) and not a teen!

That happened organically because Amanda got pregnant. It was a miracle surprise for her family [the 35-year-old actress, who’s battled endometriosis, gave birth to a son in November]. And it’s not going to be the only pregnancy [on the show].

Well, middle daughter Mandy (Molly McCook) and her hubs, Kyle (Christoph Sanders), are talking about their baby-making efforts…. Meanwhile, the night’s second episode has Mike starting a classic car–flipping business with neighbor Chuck (Jonathan Adams) and their oddball coworker (Jay Leno). Are you a gearhead in real life?

I have a big shop, and I’m more of the lead designer. I build hot rods. I’m doing an old customized Corvair that I’ve always wanted to do.

(Michael Becker/FOX)

Do you have a New Year’s resolution for 2020?

I’ve been a churchgoer most of my life and I’ve never read the Bible. I want to read the Bible cover to cover. I’m about 280 pages in on a Kindle.

Last Man Standing, Season Premiere, Thursday, Jan. 2, 8/7c, Fox