Ma­cho man meets his match

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Eguide Television - ANOOSKA TUCKER- EVANS LAST MAN STAND­ING, FOX8, Sun­day, 6.30pm

While fol­lows Allen’s char­ac­ter Mike Bax­ter as he strug­gles to main­tain his man­hood liv­ing with his wife, three young daugh­ters and grand­son, it has a dis­tinct Home Im­prove­ment feel to it.

A fea­ture Travis be­lieves is ac­tu­ally a good thing.

‘‘ In the new cli­mate it’s so hard to get some­thing on air and make it stick and build an au­di­ence that is loyal and want to re­turn week af­ter week, and I knew that he had that al­ready so the chances of suc­cess for us were pretty good,’’ she says.

‘‘ I know Tim didn’t want to stray far from the for­mula that worked for him. ‘‘ He’s stepped into a role he’s fa­mil­iar with and one he knows he can ex­e­cute very well, and also that his fans are fa­mil­iar with.

‘‘ I think in his re­turn to tele­vi­sion if he was do­ing some kind of de­tec­tive show maybe we wouldn’t have had the suc­cess we’ve had.’’

As the se­ries pro­gresses, Travis en­sures the show takes on more of its own iden­tity and says help­ing do that are the three daugh­ters in the se­ries played by Alexan­dra Kros­ney, Molly Ephraim and Kait­lyn Dever.

‘‘ It’s not just a nu­clear fam­ily of two par­ents, two kids and a dog. It has loose ends which I thought would make for some in­ter­est­ing sto­ries,’’ she says.

‘‘ It’s ex­cit­ing and it’s great to have these three girls and it’s been a chal­lenge de­vel­op­ing who they are and their re­la­tion­ships to each other and their re­la­tion­ships to me and Tim.’’

While the in­ter­ac­tions Travis has with the girls on screen can be tur­bu­lent at NANCY Travis is no stranger to play­ing the sit­com wife.

For three years she starred as the lov­ing and de­voted bet­ter half in US com­edy The Bill Eng­vall Show and pre­vi­ously took on the role as the long­suf­fer­ing girl­friend to Ted Dan­son’s char­ac­ter on Becker.

But there was some­thing about be­ing the Mrs of Tim Allen in new Amer­i­can se­ries Last Man Stand­ing that Travis couldn’t turn down.

‘‘ I think he’s so good. He re­ally knows [ what is] funny,’’ the 50- year- old says.

‘‘ And what I’ve come to know about him, work­ing with him, is just truly how smart he is about what he does and how gen­er­ous he is in terms of shar­ing the stage.’’

The role marks Allen’s re­turn to the small screen af­ter more than a decade fol­low­ing his role as the love­able, ac­ci­dent- prone Tim ‘‘ the tool man’’ Tay­lor in 1990s sit­com Home Im­prove­ment.

Last Man Stand­ing times, off screen things have blos­somed into a great friend­ship.

‘‘ I don’t have sis­ters so I feel like when I’m with the girls we’re sort of girl­friends, sis­ters and we’re talk­ing about their dif­fer­ent ages and dif­fer­ent stages,’’ she says.

‘‘ They’re ex­pe­ri­enc­ing life, it’s fun to just share sto­ries and in­for­ma­tion.

‘‘ It’s a lot of fun, we share a lot of laughs. I like them very much.’’

In fact Travis, who has two sons of her own – Ben­jamin, 13, and Jeremy, 10 – even ad­mits to try­ing to make one of the girls part of her ‘‘ real life’’ fam­ily.

‘‘ The girl who plays my youngest daugh­ter, Kait­lyn, I have her picked out for my son [ Ben] and I tell her that all the time,’’ she laughs.

‘‘ We had Nick Jonas from the Jonas Broth­ers in an episode and I know she was moon­ing all over him but I said, ‘ Uh, uh, uh, you’re for my son’.’’

FUNNY FOR­MULA: Tim Allen ( above) and Nancy Travis ( right) star in a new sit­com.

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