“Last Man Standing” reached the end of its ninth and final season yesterday. And the series finale ratings are in.
The series finale marked 194 total episodes of the show, which launched on ABC only to get cancelled after six seasons. Fox then picked it up for three more seasons. But the network announced last year that Season 9 would be the show’s final one.
‘Last Man Standing’ Had to End on Tim Allen’s Terms
Showrunner Kevin Abbott told TVLine yesterday that they felt a lot of pressure to end the series on the right terms.
“One of our main goals was really to make [star] Tim [Allen] feel that it was an appropriate end to this series that he had put so much of himself into, and dedicated so much [of his time], and felt so strongly about,” Abbott said. “I would have felt terrible if he walked away feeling incomplete.”
They had first considered two different stories for the final episode. But they wound up discarding those before settling on a plot in which Mike Baxter’s truck gets stolen and the whole family goes through a mourning process. There’s a meta principle at play there, of course. As the family mourns the car, the cast is also mourning the show.
“I hope it’s remembered as one of those shows that people could watch with their entire family, and recognize themselves or their family members [in our characters],” Abbott said. “Laugh about what’s funny, and maybe see the humor in some of the situations that aren’t funny. That’s how I’d like ‘Last Man Standing’ to be remembered.”
Allen Weighs in on Series Finale
As the star of “Last Man Standing,” Allen led the show’s cast through the past nine years, always putting his best effort forward. And when it came time to sit down and watch the final episode of his show, he wrestled with bittersweet emotions.
“Difficult feelings as I sit with my real family ready to say goodnite to the Last Man Standing family we created and lived for all these years,” Allen tweeted Thursday. “Years that flew by. Heartfelt thanks to all you who watch our work. I will miss being Mike Baxter.”
Allen told Deadline earlier this month that he doesn’t always necessarily enjoy work. But working on “Last Man Standing,” he said, has been a delight.
“To be very honest, I have had problems letting go of this one,” he said. “It’s just been three or four weeks and I’m literally just feeling better. Never have I enjoyed, outside of ‘Home Improvement’ and maybe moments of ‘Galaxy Quest,’ one of these jobs. This crew, from the guy at the gate to Radford inside to people we ate with, I loved every second of this experience.”
Fans of Allen’s can still catch him on the History Channel’s “Assembly Required,” which is available online here.