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Last Man Standing has officially been renewed for Season 9 — its third on Fox. The Tim Allen-led sitcom, which came to Fox after its surprising cancellation at ABC in 2017, has become a reliable performer and fan favorite for the network. When we last saw the Baxter brood, there was a baby on the way, and a kid who came back home after an absence. What’s going to be on deck for Last Man Standing when it returns for Season 9? Here’s everything we know so far.
Coronavirus will be part of storylines. Showrunner and executive producer Kevin Abbott said the COVID-19 pandemic has to be part of future storylines, just because that’s what’s happening in the world right now. “The world has changed,” Abbott told TV Guide. “Everything we had planned has gone out the window.” The virus would have impacted the Last Man Standing universe, he said, so they’ll be looking at how Outdoor Man and Bud’s Buds will impacted by lockdown orders, financial hardship and more.
Expect to see more Eve. Fans hadn’t seen a lot of Eve (Kaitlyn Dever) until her return in the Season 8 finale, which aired April 30. In “How You Like Them Pancakes,” Eve came home on a break from the Air Force, ending a streak that had her away from the bulk of Seasons 7 and 8. Dever has been pursuing a film career with her team’s blessing, working on projects including the movie Booksmart and the Netflix series Unbelievable, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination.
In a conversation with TV Guide, Allen said he wants her back more in the future. “My preference would be, yes, to have her on more. If she’s a fighter pilot for the Air Force, we’re not sure how much she’s allowed to see us. She’d be in Europe. We’d have to schedule it around her flight training. But my guess is, as much as possible, we’d have her on. We love her and we love to honor our military.”
Mike and Ryan will see their viewpoints rub off on each other. Tim Allen told TV Guide that Mike Baxter and his son-in-law Ryan (Jordan Masterson) will start to understand and appreciate each others’ point of view more. With Ryan running Best Bud’s, the cannabis shop previously owned by Mike’s father, his appreciation for business makes him see the value in Mike’s fiscally conservative viewpoints. And, wouldn’t you know it, Mike starts to understand more of Ryan’s point of view too. “I’m going to learn from him, and he’s gong to learn from me,” Allen said.
And of course…a new baby! Last but not least, there’s going to be a new addition to the family! Amanda Fuller told TV Guide that In the last episode they shot, Kristin’s going into labor. They’d intended for fans to see Kristin having the baby in the final episode; how that pans out now may very well call for some new creative solutions, so it’s unclear now if we’ll see the actual labor as initially thought or if we’ll skip ahead but either way, a new bundle is one the way.
Last Man Standing concluded Season 8 in April. Previous episodes available to stream on Hulu.