Eve’s soon-to-be vacant bedroom has already found a new occupant. Last Man Standing has cast former Dr. Ken star Krista Marie Yu in the recurring role of Jen, a foreign exchange student from Hong Kong, TVLine has learned exclusively.
Jen will first be introduced in Episode 4 of the ABC-turned-Fox sitcom. Vanessa takes the young scholar under her wing and convinces Mike to let her stay with them while she completes her schooling in the States. “Vanessa feels particularly tied to [Jen] because she’s interested in geology,” exec producer Kevin Abbott tells TVLine. “Vanessa’s always wanted to encourage [young women] to go into the sciences.”
Word of a foreign exchange student first broke during Last Man Standing‘s panel at the Television Critics’ Assoc. summer press tour in July. At the time, Abbott teased that the character would come from a “different political system,” paving the way for some “wonderful discussions and conflicts” within the Baxter household.
Yu’s arrival is the latest in a string of Last Man Standing casting shake-ups. As previously reported, Molly McCook (The Ranch) will succeed Molly Ephraim in the role of middle daughter Mandy, while Jet Jurgensmeyer (black-ish) will replace Flynn Morrison as Kristin and Ryan’s son Boyd. Kaitlyn Dever, who plays the aforementioned Eve, will only be back on a recurring basis while her character attends Air Force Academy.
Among the former series regulars confirmed to rejoin Tim Allen in Season 7 are Nancy Travis (Vanessa), Amanda Fuller (Kristin), Jonathan Adams (Chuck), Christoph Sanders (Kyle), Jordan Masterson (Ryan) and Hector Elizondo (Ed).
Yu is best known to TV audiences for her role as Ken Jeong’s teenage daughter Molly on Dr. Ken, which once upon a time followed Last Man Standing as part of ABC’s Friday night comedy block. Additional TV credits include Switched at Birth, The Middle and The Thundermans.
Last Man Standing Season 7 kicks off on Friday, Sept. 28 at 8/7c on Fox. (To view the revival’s key art, click here.)