“It is embarrassing the little amount of research” that went into the making of Fox’s new single-camera comedy series The Last Man on Earth, creator/EP/star Will Forte admitted this afternoon to TV critics at Winter TV Press Tour 2015. “I watched that show Life After People several years ago and tried to remember what I had learned from that show, and always thought that maybe I would do some research to make sure all the information was accurate – but I skipped that step.”
The show has a staff of “wonderful writers” Forte said. “But I have the feeling they know as little” as does he about actual information as to what earth would be like minus humans. “It would be like if people from NASA watched Spaceballs,” he said.
“There’s nothing crazy inaccurate to my knowledge – which is not a high level of knowledge,” Forte said of the show.
Forte called it “a fun show to do, because I get to do a lot of wish fulfillment. I think I would just go around and break stuff” he said of finding himself the last man on earth. “It has been really fun to break a lot of stuff” That includes a lot of aquariums, using bowling balls, in the first episode.
“We’ve got the ‘smash’ demographic” speculated Kristen Schaal, one of the show regulars (yes, Forte’s character, Phil Miller, turns out not to be the only person on earth, though some who have been named to the cast will be seen in dreams and flashbacks). Forte announced Mary Steenburgen has just joined the show, though “in what capacity we’re try to keep mysterious,” he said coyly. Last Man Standing was part of former Fox chairman Kevin Reilly’s plan to bypass pilot season, go straight to series, and cast projects outside of the traditional January-April pilot cycle. Mad Men‘s January Jones, Mel Rodriguez (Getting On), and Cleopatra Coleman (Step Up Revolution) are also cast.
Forte — and exec producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller, for whom the starring character has been named – got asked if they had seen the 70’s movie The Omega Man, about light-sensitive mutants who stalk the last man on Earth to survive a plague, and if there would be zombies in this new Fox comedy. “Oh geez,” Forte responded, admitting he’s never seen The Omega Man. “This is one of the more poorly researched shows. Let’s be honest,” Lord said. Added Miller: “I’ll let you in on a little secret – there are no zombies. There you go: breaking news.”
The panel also got asked if aliens might pay the show a visit, or other celebrities. “We are not going to do Gilligan’s Island and have the Harlem Globetrotters stop by,” Miller said. “Part of the fun is keeping the show grounded in reality.”