It’s not uncommon for actors in TV shows to be replaced, even if said series has multiple seasons under its metaphorical belt. However, a character’s total disappearance is another story, especially if they’ve appeared in some capacity throughout the majority of a show’s entire run. The recently concluded Last Man Standing had just such a situation with Boyd Baxter, and now showrunner Kevin Abbott is speaking out about young Boyd, who vanished without a trace ahead of the Fox comedy’s ninth and final season.
Throughout Last Man Standing’s first eight seasons, Mike and Vanessa’s first grandchild Boyd was portrayed by multiple actors. In Season 1, it was twins Evan and Luke Kruntchev, while Flynn Morrison took over the role for Seasons 2-6, where he vacated the show after its ABC cancellation and before Fox picked it back up. Jet Jurgensmeyer took on playing Boyd for Seasons 7 and 8, and he was last seen at his parents’ gender reveal party in Season 8. Kevin Abbott reveals the reasoning for Boyd’s sudden disappearance to TVLine, saying it basically comes down to the fact that there are only so many storylines to go around:
We have such a great cast, and it’s a big cast. Every week, we struggle to give all the characters something to do, and another regular just eats up real estate. There are only so many lines in a show, and if Boyd was saying them, then somebody else wasn’t, and we just didn’t have a ton of Boyd storylines. They were parenting stories [about] Ryan and Kristin trying to involve Mike, and we’d done a lot of them. We didn’t have any [new] ideas, and you can’t just say, ‘Hey, actor! You, who have been a regular, will you just pop in whenever I need you?’ That’s pretty insulting, and Jet was great.
Many of the storylines involving Boyd left his parents Ryan and Kristin on opposing sides of an argument, which drew up drama in the show's early days, when Ryan ended up temporarily leaving Kristin when Boyd. Kevin Abbott didn’t want to continue making their relationship about the struggles for the sake of Boyd's storylines, and the creative team preferred showing them getting along as time went by. Abbott explained:
It was so contentious, and so difficult at the beginning. That always hovered over any arguments, and we felt like they had put that to rest… We wanted to show them as united, you know? As a solid couple.
Last Man Standing’s final season raised questions on whether or not Boyd was going to show up in any of the episodes, more specifically the finale. When it was announced that the former ABC comedy starring Tim Allen was coming to an end, yet again, it was a given that just about everyone would return for the final episodes. But when Season 9 started and Boyd was nowhere to be found, and only mentioned by name sporadically, fans wondered what happened.
While it makes business sense why the first Baxter grandchild suddenly disappeared, it still would have been nice to see him pop up a few more times before the series came to an end. Maybe he could have made a Zoom call to his parents from his bedroom, similar to how Kaitlyn Dever's Eve made her final appearance. In any case, fans can catch up with Boyd again by watching any and all Last Man Standing episodes streaming on Hulu.