Fox just announced a Season 8 renewal of Last Man Standing ahead of their 150th episode and fans are thrilled, but their excitement doesn't come without controversy.
Molly Ephraim, who played the role of Mandy Baxter during the sitcom's run on ABC, will not be making a much anticipated return to the popular show. When the series switched to Fox, Molly McCook stepped in to fill those shoes and fans have had mixed feelings about it.
However, Jet Jurgensmeyer, who plays the character of Boyd Baxter told PopCulture.com exclusively that "it's tough stepping into roles that are already established."
"Molly McCook and I both joined the cast for Season 7 and it's tough stepping into roles that are already established. We are so lucky that the cast and fans of the show have embraced us and trusted us to play these characters," Jurgensmeyer said. "I never got the chance to work with Molly Ephraim, but as an original Baxter I know the Last Man Standing cast supports her in the other projects she is working on."
Jurgensmeyer goes on to sing his co-star, McCook's praises, admitting how she "brought her own style to Mandy" with the fans really growing to love her.
"I am excited for us to be back for Season 8 to see how these characters evolve," he added.
Ephraim was unable to return once the Tim Allen series was picked up by its current network. But while some are thrilled for the new Mandy, many fans were keeping their fingers crossed in hopes of seeing the Ephraim back.
One fan wrote on the show's Facebook page, "Hopefully season 8 will have the original Mandy!! [Love] this show!!"
Someone else said "the only problem with this show" is the new Mandy, while someone else shared, "Watching my first Last Man Standing episode since the reboot and I gotta say, I hate the new Mandy."
It's clear fans are venting their frustration on social media about the new Mandy, but a few have actually pin-pointed just why they're not on board with McCook filling in the new role.
"I still enjoy Last Man Standing...if they made Mandy's hair black, that would make a big difference," someone pointed out on Twitter.
Despite all of the drama surrounding her role, Jurgensmeyer told PopCulture.com in another exclusive interview this past January that he's felt nothing but love from his new TV family and fans since joining the cast.
"Everybody was amazing," he gushed. "My first day I felt really welcomed. Amanda Fuller — the lady who plays my mom — she actually reached out to me when they released that I was the new Boyd on Instagram and said, 'Hey Jet, it's Amanda. I'm so excited to work with you, can't wait to see you' and after the first day, I wasn't nervous at all!"
"The fans on that show are just amazing," he continued. "The fans on social media, the fans that come to the show, it's just been a blast."
Last Man Standing airs at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.