Last Man Standing has already recast two of Mike and Vanessa Baxter’s three daughters (most recently casting Molly McCook as Mandy 2.0), and is not about to recast a third. As such, the producers are working hard to accommodate former series regular Kaitlyn Dever, who will return to freshly revived Tim Allen sitcom on a recurring basis.
Executive producer Kevin Abbott confirmed to TVLine (as part of our in-depth Fall Preview) that Dever, who is now attached as a series regular on the upcoming Netflix drama Unbelievable, will appear in at least two episodes of the Last Man revival this fall. She’ll make her first appearance in the Season 7 premiere (airing Friday, Sept. 28 at 8/7c on Fox; watch a promo here).
“She’s in the first episode, [and] she will be in the third episode,” Abbott said. “Kaitlyn Dever’s marvelous and of course she took other work while we were off… She’s currently doing a Netflix show, but they’re being really, really accommodating.”
The plan, we’re told, is to bank scenes with Dever during her hiatus weeks. “Kaitlyn’s working really hard so that whenever she has a break, we will film her,” Abbott explained. “We’re going to write… B-stories [in advance] for the purpose of being able to shoot her in a scene and then drop it into a later episode.”
As previously revealed at the series’ summer TCA panel, Eve will be off at Air Force Academy during Season 7. “We’ll visit her sometimes there, and she’ll come visit us sometimes,” Abbott said. But ultimately, “our goal is to have her as often as we can… At the very least, every few episodes she’ll be in it.”
In her absence, Mike will be preoccupied with grandson Boyd, who will now be 12-years-old (just go with it) and played by Jet Jurgensmeyer (black-ish). “We’ll be dealing with some… of the issues that you get with a boy on the cusp of manhood… you know, some of the rebellion and trying to establish his own identity,” Abbott explained. For Mike, Boyd is the first boy in the family that he can “mold” to one day inherit Outdoor Man, “so there will be conflict between Mike wanting him to be his version of a man and Kristin and Ryan’s version [of a man].”