‘Last Man Standing’: Here’s Why the Cast Struggled to Stay Together

by Megan Molseed

Fans of the popular Tim Allen TV sitcom series Last Man Standing remember how the series was famous for shaking up the cast. From repeat appearances by some big names to changes to regular characters, it always seemed like the hit series found it to be a struggle keeping the cast together.

The First Season Of Last Man Standing Features A Big Name In Pop-Culture

During the first season of the popular Tim Allen series, the show made a big move, pulling in popular Jonas Brother, Nick Jonas. In the series, Jonas portrays Ryan Vogelson in the 2011 episode titled Last Christmas Standing.

When the series decided to make Jonas’s character, Nick Vogelson, a regular, the showrunners faced quite the conundrum. Jonas was cool with the one-and-done guest-starring role. However, his own career prevented the pop star from becoming regular in the series. To circumvent these issues, the series brought in actor Jordan Masterson to portray Vogelson for the rest of the series.

Initially, actress Alexandra Krosney portrayed Kristin Baxter in the first season of Last Man Standing. However, Krosney soon left the series due to what showrunners deemed to be “creative differences.”

To replace the actress in the role of Kristin Baxter, the series called in actress Amanda Fuller. This same tactic was used when recasting Kristin’s son, Boyd in the series. However, this move was a bit less controversial. After all, it’s not uncommon for shows to regularly recast young characters during their run.

The first replacement of Boyd came in the show’s first season when the young character was portrayed by twins Evan and Luke Kruntchev. Flynn Morrison then stepped in to portray the character in the show’s second season. Morrison remained in the role for four years.

However, in the seventh season, showrunners decided to get creative with the role of Boyd. To do this, an older actor, Jet Jurgensmeyer was cast in the series.

Last Man Standing Finds A New Network Home, And Some New Faces Along With These Changes

When ABC decided to cut Last Man Standing after the show’s sixth season, it was a disappointing move for many fans. However, this disappointment did not last long as the Fox network decided to step in and bring the show back for a few more seasons.

But, there was an issue to face as the series prepared to return to the airwaves. Some of the show’s stars had already moved on from the series after the ABC cancelation. So, several Last Man Standing characters were played by new actors when it premiered on Fox.

Molly Ephraim, who previously portrayed Mandy Baxter, was replaced by Molly McCook, and Erika Alexander, who portrays Carol Larabee in the show’s first run, was replaced by Tisha Campbell.