“The Last Man on Earth” is settling in Tucson. Or is he?
FOX’s new show, which premiered on Sunday at 8 p.m., takes place in Tucson, but was filmed on location in Chatsworth, California.
The single-camera, futuristic sitcom tells the story of Phil Miller, who in 2022 is the last known remaining human after a virus wipes out most of the world’s population. It was created by, written by and stars former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Will Forte.
The pilot episode was called “Alive in Tucson,” and according to the synopsis, Miller drives across the country looking for survivors before settling in a McMansion in Tucson. It was directed by the duo of Phil Lord and Cristopher Miller, who also directed “21 Jump Street,” “The Lego Movie,” “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” and “22 Jump Street.”
A clip from the pilot shows Miller bowling in the parking lot of the fictional “Tucson Bowl,” knocking over everything from pins to lamps to aquariums.
The show has also taken Tucson into account through its marketing, posting flyers around the country of Miller’s face with the caption: “My name is Phil Miller and I am the last man on Earth. If you read this and I am not, please come to Tucson post haste.” At the bottom are tear-offs of a phone number with a 520 area code.
When you call the number, it goes to a voicemail of Miller, who recites a similar message and pleads for someone — hopefully a woman — to come find him in Tucson.
Shelli Hall, director of the Tucson Film Office, said the show never contacted them about filming in Tucson, but she wishes they would have. She doesn’t know why the show wasn’t filmed here, but thinks it might be because 30-minute shows tend to be shot on studio lots.
However, she’s still looking forward to watching it.
“I’m curious to see how Tucson is portrayed,” Hall said.
“The Last Man on Earth” joins “Hamlet 2” (2008) and “Greetings from Tucson” (2002-2003) as recent productions set in Tucson that were not filmed locally. “Sons of Tucson” (2010), “Hangover III” (2013) and “Divide” (2014) are recent productions filmed in Southern Arizona.
“The Last Man on Earth” will regularly air Sunday nights at 8:30 p.m. on FOX.