Last Man Standing returned to the small screen tonight. While there was a sense of comfort being back with the Baxter family, the loss of a familiar face was definitely noticeable.
After Last Man Standing was canceled by ABC, many of the actors who were on the show tried to found other work. There was talk that another network may pick up the show but nothing was set in concrete. Then, it was revealed that FOX had picked it up and it would begin airing again in the fall of 2018.
Molly Ephraim played Mandy Baxter. She was memorable in the role and when it was announced Last Man Standing had been picked up, she had already made prior commitments. There was no way she would be able to return and the role was recast.
Of course, this news was announced a few months ago when filming had resumed for the show. After being off the air for as much time as it was, Last Man Standing was picking up in real time and with a few minor changes. Molly Ephraim wasn’t the only actor not returning, but she is definitely the most notable one.
As the show must go on, a recast for Mandy Baxter was necessary. Molly McCook was given the role and while she isn’t Molly Ephraim, that is okay. The show was looking for someone to play Mandy, not someone to play Molly playing Mandy.
Despite a whirlwind of emotions happening with Last Man Standing, the cast appears to be settling in well with the new arrangements. Fans will miss Molly Ephraim and her version of Mandy Baxter, but some are willing to give Molly McCook the benefit of the doubt as long as their show is back.
Last Man Standing airs Friday nights at 8/7c on FOX.