Last Man Standing producer admits Mandy Baxter recast backlash was not a surprise

Last Man Standing season premiere
Last Man Standing returned without a familiar face. Pic credit: FOX

Last Man Standing has been making waves since returning last Friday night. After ABC canceled the show, FOX’s decision to revive it over a year later has garnered a lot of attention.

The biggest issue so far has been the recast of Mandy Baxter. Molly Ephraim originated the role and this season, a recast is in her place. Molly McCook was announced back in August as the actress chosen for the role but no one could anticipate the blowback.

Last Friday, Twitter trended with the #NotMyMandy hashtag. Viewers of the show were happy to see Last Man Standing back, but there was confusion about why Molly Ephraim wasn’t there and why the new Mandy Baxter was blonde.

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the showrunner, Kevin Abbott did address the recast controversy. He mentioned they were aware that not everyone would be happy with the replacement and even the producers and others who worked on the show weren’t thrilled with a recast. Molly McCook was the best actress they saw and she was given the role.

Molly McCook did see the hashtag on Twitter and gave her opinion on the matter. While some Last Man Standing viewers were gracious about giving her a chance, there were some incredibly rude comments found in the hashtag log. Fortunately, McCook will be sticking around for the foreseeable future.

With Molly Ephraim not returning to Last Man Standing, the show was given no choice but to recast Mandy Baxter. There could have been some better choices made in regards to having Molly McCook dye her hair dark and a few other tweaks that have been suggested by fans, but they feel like she was the best choice.

FOX surged in ratings last week with the Last Man Standing premiere. Despite the controversy, the show pulled in the highest numbers for a comedy the network has seen in seven years according to the Entertainment Weekly interview with Kevin Abbott.

Despite fans not liking the new Mandy, the show is garnering a lot of attention.

Last Man Standing airs Friday nights at 8/7c on FOX.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments