Co-star credits fans with prompting Fox sitcom revival
As the wife of a producer, Nancy Travis knows well how show business works.
Thus, she was prepared to accept the fate of “Last Man Standing.” Until that changed.
“I was disappointed when the show was canceled by ABC,” she recalls, “then I thought, ‘OK. I’ve made peace with it. I’m moving on with my life.’ And then, a friend said, ‘You know what? I wouldn’t be surprised if they brought that show back.’ And I said, ‘No, I don’t think so.’ And here we are.”
Indeed, that’s thanks to Fox, which now is reaping big ratings rewards with its Friday revival of the Tim Allen-led sitcom. This week’s episode (Nov. 9) involves Travis’ character Vanessa pivotally, since her mother (guest star Susan Sullivan) pays a visit and prompts Vanessa’s concern by generating romantic sparks with Ed (Hector Elizondo).
Noting what she terms the “full-on gangbusters” status of “Last Man Standing” in its return, the pleasant Travis remembers being “very excited” by the confirmation that the show was coming back. “I loved the people I was working with, and I wasn’t ready to leave them … but at the same time, I had already gone through a grieving process, as it were.”
Still, Travis adds that “it didn’t take long to kind of regroup,” particularly where Allen was concerned: “I learned a lot from Tim, and with everybody else in the cast, we created a nice family. And it’s a great job also. I’m still in Los Angeles, and our youngest son is still at home, so it’s about as good as it gets.”
Married to Rob Fried – a former Columbia Pictures and 20th Century Fox executive whose movie-producing credits include “So I Married an Axe Murderer” (in which Travis starred), “Rudy” and the 1998 version of “Godzilla” — Travis also appears opposite Michael Douglas in “The Big Bang Theory” producer Chuck Lorre’s seriocomic Netflix series “The Kominsky Method,” premiering Nov. 16.
However, Travis is happy to maintain the “Last Man Standing” fan base as well. “We have a slew of dedicated viewers who mounted a massive campaign to get the show revived, and they’ve stayed faithful and loyal.
“Twitter is my only social-media thing, and it’s just been a constant show of support and affection there for the show and the characters, which is really heartwarming. And they feel, rightfully, that this is a victory that they won.”