Last Man Standing originally aired on ABC.
After receiving backlash for its cancellation, the show switched networks and was picked back up for a seventh season on Fox.
When the show returned, the actress who played the original Mandy Baxter had been replaced, causing fans to wonder why.
Last Man Standing has been a fan-favorite, family-friendly sitcom since it debuted on ABC in 2011. After airing on the network for six seasons, ABC canceled the show much to fans' disappointment. While it eventually got picked back up by Fox for seasons seven through nine, nothing could have prepared fans (or the show’s producers) for the disappointment that would come with the original Mandy Baxter’s exit from the show.
Upon watching the first episode of season 7 of Last Man Standing in 2018, fans were shocked to find that Mandy—originally played by brunette actress Molly Ephraim—had been replaced by a taller, blonder actress, Molly McCook. Where most shows typically keep character replacements in the same ballpark, Last Man Standing took an opposite approach and instead focused solely on personality—hence the drastic difference in appearance.
Needless to say, fans were confused. So much so, in fact, that many began taking to Twitter to air their grievances with the show.
— Jodie Van Dalen (@jodievand) October 13, 2018
— ILYA KLIMENKO (@mrklimenko23) October 6, 2018
While dealing with their disappointment, many fans began questioning the change, assuming the worst when in reality, it all simply came down to priorities and prior engagements.
According to TVLine, Molly E. left Last Man Standing following the show’s ABC cancellation under the assumption that the show was over, once and for all. Not knowing that the series would be picked up by Fox, she entered contracts with other projects, which ultimately left her out of the running for the revisited series.
The original Mandy may no longer be part of the Last Man Standing cast, but fans of Molly E. can still catch her appearances in other popular shows, including Brockmire, Halt and Catch Fire, The Act, and Modern Family.
In the meantime, here’s to appreciating all that the new Mandy has done for the show!
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