After axing Brooklyn Nine-Nine (which was then resurrected elsewhere) Fox cancelled another long-running comedy, The Last Man On Earth, after four seasons. The series was a high-concept comedy from Will Forte, who also starred as Phil “Tandy” Miller.
“[These people] went down [into the bunker] when the virus had first started,” Forte explained. “They had some kind of medical expert or scientist who knew, ‘At this certain point, the virus will be dormant. You’ll be safe to get back out,’ and they had reached that point. Then they see a bunch of stragglers — us — and we represent a real threat to them, because they thought [everyone] was dead, so they quarantine us. We eventually communicate with them a little bit [and] they get comfortable with us. They look scary but they end up being nice people.”
Forte planned for a few of these bunker peeps to be famous guest stars, as the series has done so brilliantly in past seasons. “Eventually we’d all get comfortable with each other. We are immune to the virus, but we’re carriers. And so we would infect them and they’d die like wildfire. And then we’re back to just our little group, and maybe one famous [guest star] we could talk into staying around.”
The former SNL comedy mastermind had accepted that season 5 might be the last, before he got the bad news that there wouldn’t be one.
“We don’t know how we were going to end the show,” he admitted. “We would have found something that would have been fitting for the audience.”
When it premiered back in 2015, The Last Man On Earth had about as ingenious and rare a concept for any half-hour comedy on television. The hour-long pilot, co-written by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord (both of The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street) along with Forte, followed Phil Miller (oh, I see what they did there with the name). Phil was the last man on Earth, or so he thought, after a deadly virus wiped out the rest of the human population.
Phil spent his days searching for survivors, breaking into empty mansions, and talking to a whole host of Wilson from Cast Away-style balls. The pilot was a strong debut, topped off by Phil realising he may not be as alone as he thought he was.
The rest of the series’ four total seasons were well received, but did not generate the strong critical or audience response that the pilot did. As far as cancellations go for Fox, this wouldn’t have normally been a surprising one, if it weren’t for the cliffhanger nature of the recently aired season four finale.
Read the latest Den of Geek Special Edition Magazine Here!