Home Improvement (TV series)

Home Improvement (TV series)

show_name = Home Improvement

caption = The "Home Improvement" cast
format = Sitcom
runtime = 30 minutes
creators = Matt Williams
Carmen Finestra
David MacFadzean
starring = Final Cast
Tim Allen
Patricia Richardson
Earl Hindman
Debbe Dunning
Taran Smith
with Zachery Ty Bryan
and Richard Karn
Previous Cast Members
Johnathan Taylor Thomas
Pamela Anderson
country = United States
location = Detroit, Michigan (setting)
Walt Disney Studios, Burbank, California (actual filming location)
rating = TV-G TV-PG
network = ABC
first_aired = September 17, 1991
last_aired = May 25, 1999
num_seasons = 8
num_episodes = 203
list_episodes = List of Home Improvement episodes
imdb_id = 0101120
tv_com_id = 635

"Home Improvement" is a American television sitcom starring actor/comedian Tim Allen, which aired 1991 to 1999. The show was created by Matt Williams, Carmen Finestra (who both produced "The Cosby Show") and David MacFadzean. The show's title is a double entendre; it refers to physical improvement of houses, as well as to improving life with family, friends, work, and school. The show was a huge commercial success, launching Tim Allen's acting career to the top. "Home Improvement" won several awards and was one of the most-watched sitcoms of the 1990s.

Plot details and storylines

The series centered on the antics of the Taylor family, including Tim (Tim Allen), his wife Jill (Patricia Richardson) and their three sons. The oldest is the popular and athletic Brad (Zachery Ty Bryan); a year younger is comedic and intellectual Randy (Jonathan Taylor Thomas); and the socially awkward youngest son, Mark (Taran Noah Smith). The show is set in suburban Detroit, Michigan.

Early seasons

Throughout the first four seasons (and off and on throughout the next three), sons Brad and Randy would torment their youngest brother Mark (and each other) in ways that consistently presented a challenge to Tim and Jill. Mark always believed what his siblings told him (eg in the first season episode "Flying Sauces," they said the whole family but Mark were aliens and that Mark was not Tim and Jill's natural son), until Jill straightened things out.

Mark was initially presented as slightly naive and in constant admiration of his father. He was also the son who shared the closest relationship with their mother Jill. Brad was presented as a character who often engaged before thinking, a tendency which regularly landed him in trouble. Randy was the comedian of the pack--the quick-thinking, sarcastic son who had more common sense than Brad but wasn't immune to trouble. In the first two years of the show, Pamela Anderson played the part of Tim's assistant, Lisa, on his cable show. She became frustrated with her role and landed the role of C.J. Parker on the syndicated series "Baywatch". Allen and the producers had to make a decision: kick Anderson off the show or keep her on as the only series she could do. Anderson chose the former, and her last appearance as a series regular ended up being "The Great Race," which aired as the second season finale on May 19, 1993. She later reprised the role of Lisa in the sixth season finale "The Kiss and the Kiss Off," which originally aired May 20, 1997.

Jonathan Taylor Thomas' departure

When the seventh season began, however, Mark grew into a teenage outcast who dressed in dark clothing, while Brad became interested in cars like his father and took up soccer. Randy joined the school newspaper, before leaving for Costa Rica in the eighth season episode "Adios," which aired on September 29, 1998. This was done as Jonathan Taylor Thomas reportedly wanted to take time off to focus on academics. His last appearance on "Home Improvement" was the 1998 Christmas episode "Home for the Holidays." Thomas was unwilling to return to the show for the series finale. He claimed, in a "People magazine" article, he was touring colleges at the time.cite web|url=http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20130381,00.html|title=Smart Throb: People.com|accessdate=2000-01-31|publisher=People Magazine]

"Tool Time"

Focus was also given to Tim's job as a television personality on his own home improvement show, called "Tool Time". Tim was the host of this "meta-program," or show-within-a-show, originally called "Hammer Time." The show's name was changed to "Tool Time" because Tim and the producers felt that name would be confused with MC Hammer. Tim was joined by his friend and mild-mannered assistant Al Borland (Richard Karn), and a "Tool Time girl" — first Lisa (Pamela Anderson) and later Heidi (Debbe Dunning) — whose main duty was to introduce the pair at the beginning of the show with the line "Does everybody know what time it is?" They would also assist Tim and Al during the show by bringing them tools. Although an excellent salesman and TV personality, Tim was spectacularly accident-prone as a handyman, often causing hilarious disasters on and off the set to the consternation of his co-workers and family. Most Tool Time viewers think that the accidents on the show are on purpose, to show somebody how not to use tools. Many of Tim's accidents were caused by his devices designed in application of his mantra, "More power!"

The relationship between Tim and Al

Though ultimately they were best friends (and would never admit it), there was a tense and often problematic relationship between Tim and Al. Al was portrayed as a slightly geeky character, usually having more knowledge, skill, and audience popularity than Tim. His catchphrase, as an opposition to Tim's ill-advised ideas or jokes, was "I don't think so, Tim." He also came up with many puns and would giggle and snort when a joke was made at Tim's expense. Al, being cautious, insecure, and brighter, always bore the brunt of Tim's jokes and constant put-downs. Whenever Tim would make a remark likely to offend some Tool Time viewers, Al would quickly pull out a large card with the show's address for those viewers to write to Tim and complain. Al is frequently taunted by Tim because of his beard, bland personality (in Tim's eye), poor sense of humor and his preference of flannel shirts (and often other flannel items such as an oversized pair of flannel briefs in the episode "Room Without A View"). (Tim shows the briefs again in the episode "A Funny Valentine"). (and Al boxer shorts are shown in the episode "Jill and Her Sisters") Tim typically uses his television show to vent about various problems he is having in his personal life, Al is usually very annoyed by this. Two running jokes for Tim was introducing Al with a silly middle name (ie Al "This Land Is" Bor-land, or Al "Table for One" Borland) and commenting on Al's overweight mother, who was often referred to but was never fully seen throughout the series (in the penultimate episode of the series, "Dead Weight", she died, and the characters were shown paying their respects at her extra-wide coffin which showed her body but not her face. In another episode, she can be seen in a picture on the Tool Time set, but only from the back side). Another running gag in the series is although Tim is the star of the show everybody seems to love Al (eg, in several instances, when Tim offers an autographed picture to a fan, they will say "Can you make it of Al? He's my favorite").

pecial guests and cameos

Many "special guests" made "cameo" appearances on "Tool Time". These guests included race car drivers Johnny Rutherford, Robby Gordon, Mario and Michael Andretti, Al Unser, Sr./Jr./III, actress and model Jenny McCarthy (the season 8 episode "Young at Heart"), country artist Alan Jackson (the season 5 episode "When Harry Kept Delores"), golfer Payne Stewart, comedian Drew Carey (the season 6 episode "Totally Tool Time") and The Beach Boys. Numerous NASA astronauts appeared on the series, the most notable being Ken Bowersox, who made three separate appearances. Former Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway, then Detroit Pistons star Grant Hill (the season 7 episode "Believe It or Not"), former boxers Evander Holyfield (the season 3 episode "Eve of Construction") and George Foreman (the season 1 episode "Unchained Malady"), and former President Jimmy Carter all appeared on the series. Carter made an appearance during season three episode "Eve of Construction," which focused on Habitat for Humanity. Jay Leno appears with his car collection in the fourth season episode "Brother, Can You Spare a Hot Rod?" He plays a mechanic who is cleaning Papa Mia's (the Detroit pizza magnate) cars. He also appeared four years later in the episode "Home Alone" in a dream sequence about Tim's book, saying "Instead of getting a literary genius like Tim Taylor, we're stuck with Jack Nicholson and Marlon Brando." He wasn't alone in that episode, either. Leeza Gibbons and Oprah Winfrey also guest-starred in the episode playing themselves on their respective talk shows talking about Tim's book (and how he has not written it). Bob Vila also appeared on several episodes, with Tim seeing him as a rival (he appears in Season One's "What About Bob?" Season Two's "The Great Race," Season Three's "The Great Race II," Season Four's "Tool Time After Dark," with recycled Tool Time footage from earlier episodes, and Season Six's "Insult to Injury" in a dream sequence about Vila winning the consecutive home renovation show appearance record; Vila wasn't played by himself, and instead played by a stunt-double for a one-shot cameo.)

The Beach Boys appeared in the Season 6 episode, "The Karate Kid Returns" as Wilson's cousins. (Then - Beach Boys Carl Wilson and Mike Love were real-life cousins.)

A then-unknown Dave Chappelle and Jim Breuer guest-starred in the Season 4 episode, "Talk to Me", as the two men Tim gives advice to; his "sage words" nearly end up destroying the guys' relationships with their respective girlfriends. The following season, Chappelle would reprise the same role, with Christopher Gartin in Breuer's role, in the short lived "Home Improvement" spinoff "Buddies".

Other famous guests include Drake Bell in the third season episode "Swing Time", Ron Eli, Jack Elam, Ernest Borgnine, the latter two who appeared in the first season episode "Birds of a Feather Flock to Taylor."

Robert Picardo, best known as "The Doctor" on Star Trek: Voyager, made two appearances on the show as Tim's neighbor, Joe "The Meat Man" Morton. He appeared in "A Sew, Sew Evening," and "Blow-Up," both early on in the third season. The character was explained by Marie (his wife) in the fifth season episode "Jill's Surprise Party" that he had left Marie for a younger woman.

The late Rodney Dangerfield and Alex Rocco appeared together in the 1997 Thanksgiving episode in which they both appeared in a luxury box at the Pontiac Silverdome.

Character honors

Starting in Season 4, Jill studied to become a psychologist. In "Is There a Doctor in the House?" an episode from the fifth season, Tim also received an honorary Ph.D. from his alma mater, Western Michigan University. Tim also received an award for "Safety" in season 2's "Dances with Tools" despite his accident record on "Tool Time". (The reason was that the people giving the award mistakenly believed that he staged all his accidents and Tim, to keep his reputation, let them.) Also, in the season 6 episode "Insult to Injury", Tim gets an award for the most consecutive appearances on a tool show, beating Bob Vila's record.

Running gags

* Basement Pipe - Tim bangs his head on a metal pipe whenever he walked down the basement steps. This gag is first seen in Season 1, Episode 5, "Wild Kingdom." This never happened to any other character, though the gag was occasionally used with other staircases.

* Tim and Jill's marriage - In some episodes, Tim would mix up how long he has been married to Jill. In the season two episode, "Ex Marks the Spot", Tim's high school ex runs into Tim with Al, he later said "I've been married 14 unforgettable years." Al would later say, "15".

* Accidental innuendos - There is a certain character called Milt who Tim and Al meets occasionally. Whenever he is around, Tim or Al tends to accidentally make a reference to being homosexual, in which case Milt would say in an angry manner: "Hey, I don't go for that sort of thing!" Milt has also appeared on "Tool Time", as a bartender for the "Man's Bedroom" and "Man's Gym".

* Hissing - Occasionally, when Al would make a sarcastic or somewhat ill tempered remark about one of Tim's plans, Tim would hiss at him, as if an angry cat.

* Address Card - In the show's early years, Tim would often make remarks, usually chauvinistic, that would be likely to offend to certain sections of the "Tool Time" viewership. Al would then quickly pull out a large card with the show's address for viewers to write in and complain, always beginning by saying "That's Tim Taylor, care of "Tool Time"....". This was first seen in Season 1, on the episode, "Reach Out And Teach Someone". This gag was phased out in the later seasons but seen in the season 7 episode "Believe It or Not".

* We'll Be Right Back... - When something would go wrong on Tool Time, Tim and/or Al would quickly throw to commercial by saying, "We'll be right back after these messages from Binford Tools!"

* Salute to... - From the outset of the first season finale "Stereo-Typical," Tim and Al would make a theme of a particular home improvement project or item on "Tool Time" by hosting an episode or series of episodes as a "salute" to it. This would usually be evident with a banner that said "Salute to ____" or Tim or Al would say "A salute..." followed by a hand salute accompanied by a sound effect relevant to the subject, finishing with Tim and/or Al saying the particular topic being saluted.

* The Man's... - Similar to the salutes, "Tool Time" occasionally featured "The Man's ____ (Bathroom, Kitchen, etc.)." These skits are the embodiment of manliness according to Tim. These usually featured people being stored in appliances (ex. butcher in the fridge).

* Wilson's Advice - The Taylor's neighbor Wilson (Earl Hindman) would often provide advice to Tim, and later in the series, to other members of the family and even Al, while he was out in his back yard working on an unusual project. This advice would usually provide the resolution of the character's main conflict in the episode. His advice usually included references and quotes from historical, philosophical, or literary figures or works, leading to a revelation that would help the character solve their dilemma. Tim would often explain his revelation to another character by both misquoting Wilson's historical quote, as well as mistaking the name of the person or work quoted. In one episode, Wilson pointed out that Tim Taylor can be rearranged to spell Mortality.

* Wilson's Face - Wilson was inspired in part by a neighbor that Tim Allen had when he was too young to see over his neighbor's fence (and therefore unable to see his neighbor). As a result, the bottom half of Wilson's face was almost never seen on the show. Initially he was always seen with his mouth obscured by the fence; the gag quickly became covering the lower half of his face with other props, wardrobe, set pieces, other characters' heads, or using unconventional camera angles. Occasionally, the top half of his face would be covered leaving only the bottom half visible, and rarely, his entire face would be shown disguised by makeup for a costume. Earl Hindman's face was fully shown following the series finale episode while taking his final bow, though he did come out holding a miniature fence on a stick over the lower half of his face for one last gag. However, his full face is very briefly seen over the fence in the pilot episode.

* Jill's Childhood Stories - Jill often attempted to tell stories about experiences she had when she was a young girl. Tim and the boys would beg her not to tell them, walk away in the middle of the story, or both.

* Al is the Star - "Tool Time" viewers often had the misconception that Al was the star of the show, due to him being more skillful and knowledgeable than Tim. Tim usually took these comments with restrained annoyance and reminded the viewers that Al was his assistant and not the reverse. He often said, "Al is my assistant. "He 'assists' me"." A related running gag is a fan of the show telling Tim "I'm a big fan of "Tool Time". I love Al", to which Tim would always reply with a sarcastic, "We all love Al.". In later seasons, when Tim introduces Al to the Tool Time crowd, he would get a hearty round of applause from the audience. Al would generally not disuade people from believing that "Tool Time" was his show.

* "I Don't Think So Tim" -- Whenever Tim would make a nonsensical observation Al would respond, "I don't think so, Tim" or a variation thereof (for example, "I wouldn't know, Tim"). That response also would be used by other characters and guest stars.

* Tim Being Astonished -- Whenever something surprised Tim he would do a deep gasp "uuuuUUUUHHHHuuuUUHHH!"

* Sarcastically Introducing Al -- In the early seasons, when Tim introduced Al on "Tool Time", he added a sarcastic middle name like Al "This land is" Borland. In the seventh season episode "Futile Attraction," after Al helps Heidi who was going through a matrimonial crisis, she introduced him as Al "the Most Sensitive Guy in the World" Borland.

* Al's Mother - Tim frequently used jokes about Al's mother, usually about her weight. She was an unseen character in the series. She can be seen in a picture on the Tool Time set, but only from the back side in the episode "Oh, Brother". She can be partially viewed in the funeral scene when she passes away, in the episode "Dead Weight". Previously, Tim teased his mother-in-law about the same issue, but when it was revealed that Tim's jokes helped her to lose weight and she appeared quite slim, he stopped making those jokes.

* More Power - Tim saying something needed "More power", which was then followed by his trademark Simian Grunt. Later, characters would suggest that Tim make "the power [object] " when he expressed dissatisfaction with something's capabilities.

* Jill's cooking - Tim and the boys' wisecracks about Jill's notoriously bad cooking. Even Jill owned up to her kitchen ineptitude now and then, often to her mother.

* The Grunt - Tim would usually grunt while doing something manly.

* Al's Flannel - Tim would constantly make jokes about Al's flannel shirts.

* "What'd you do this time?" - Every time Tim would announce to his kids that he would go out on a dinner or plan a breakfast for Jill, his kids would ask "What'd you do this time?" Most of the time this is said by Randy. Tim would usually respond with "Nothing!"

* Tim's Sweatshirts - In several episodes Tim is seen wearing sweatshirts from a bunch of different random colleges other than just his alma mater, Western Michigan. The Home Improvement Archive website notes that all colleges Tim sports sweats from are in the Taylor's home state, Michigan.

* Binford 6100 - On Tool Time, starting in the third season, whenever a new product was being introduced, the name of it was always "Binford 6100..." Before that, every single tool was given a different product number (eg, the Binford 6100 was a very dangerous saw that cuts trees). The only exception to this was early in the third season, in which Tim made a gallon of the color Al with the Binford 250 Paint Boy.

* The main recurring theme throughout the show was Tim hurting himself or someone else on "Tool Time." A few notable examples are:
** Accidentally knocking out Bob Vila with a 4X8.
** Accidentlly setting himself on fire
** Getting his head stuck to a table.
** Shocking himself. {Numerous times}
** Dying his hands green.
** Sucking up Al's clothes from his body in a superpowered leaf vacuum.
** Dropping a steel I-beam on Jill's car.
** Knocking out all the power in the Pontiac Silverdome.
** Getting his shirt too close to a lathe and having it ripped off his body.
** Accidentally blowing up a house through a missed gas leak {not Tim's fault for once}.
** Glueing his hands to a toilet
** Getting a magnet stuck to Al's toolbelt and then getting himself hit in the face with a portable camera with the same magnet
** Falling through ice into a freezing lake
** Falling through a roof
** Falling with his safety belt on off a I-beam construction site and wrecking a portable toilet
** Causing Chaos when his machines malfunction on Home Improvement set
** Accidentally gluing his head to a piece of wood

how background

Based on the stand-up comedy of Tim Allen, "Home Improvement" made its debut on ABC on September 17, 1991, and was one of the highest-rated sitcoms for almost the entire decade (It even went up to #1 during the 1993-1994 season; that year, Allen also had the #1 book ("Don't Stand Too Close to a Naked Man") and movie ("The Santa Clause")) [cite episode
title = Tim Allen
episodelink =
series = "Inside the Actors Studio"
serieslink = Inside the Actors Studio
airdate = 2006-05-28
season = 12
number = 15
] Midway throughout the show's run, it was also competed against another highly-rated sitcom, "Frasier", which slightly dropped the ratings, however, it remained a top 10 show. The final episode aired on May 25, 1999 with a 90-minute, three-part episode entitled "The Long and Winding Road," which was the fourth highest rated comedy series finale of the 1990s, behind "Cheers", "The Cosby Show" and "Seinfeld". Since 1995, due to its popularity, reruns began airing on The Disney Channel and Channel 4 and ABC1 in the UK. At the present time, old episodes are currently on national syndication and on cable television network such as TBS in the U.S., the Seven Network and FOX Classics in Australia, Sab Tv in India and although it stopped airing in the UK due to ABC1 ceasing transmission on 26th September, on 28th July 2008 it restarted from the pilot episode on Virgin 1. In America, it has begun airing on Nick at Nite in 2007 [ [http://www.sitcomsonline.com/boards/showthread.php?t=117588 Coming to Nick At Nite in 2007 - Sitcoms Online Message Boards ] ] . In Canada, it has began airing on CMT. In Germany, Home Improvement was shown on ARD, RTL, VOX, and reruns are currently shown on the private channels RTL 2 and Super RTL. It was also shown on M-Net on South African television, and reruns are showing throughout 2007 on the M-Net Series channel, available to DStv users.In 2007, with the DVD release of Tim Allen's two stand-up specials, he said that Home Improvement was supposed to be a parody of This Old House, where the host does almost nothing and the co-host (Al in this case, Norm on This Old House) does all the work.


The Taylor Family

*Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor (Tim Allen) — Jill's husband, Brad, Randy and Mark's father, the host of "Tool Time"
*Jillian "Jill" Taylor (Patricia Richardson) — Tim's wife and Brad, Randy and Mark's mother.
*Brad Taylor (Zachery Ty Bryan) — Randy and Mark's older brother.
*Randy Taylor (Jonathan Taylor Thomas) — Brad's younger brother and Mark's older brother.
*Mark Taylor (Taran Noah Smith) — Brad and Randy's younger brother.
*Marty Taylor (William O'Leary) — Tim's younger brother.
*Jeffrey "Jeff" Taylor (Thom Sharp) — Tim's older brother.
*Lucille Taylor (Bonnie Bartlett) — Tim, Marty and Jeff's mother; Brad, Randy and Mark's paternal grandmother; Jill's mother-in-law.

The Patterson Family

*Colonel Fred Patterson (M. Emmet Walsh) — Jill's Father
*Lillian Patterson (Polly Holliday) — Jill's Mother
*Carrie Patterson (Tudi Roche) - Jill's sister
*Linda Patterson (Carlene Watkins) - Jill's sister
*Tracy Patterson (Maryedith Burrell) - Jill's sister
*Robin Patterson (Amy Ryan) - Jill's sister

eries Finale

The series ended in a three-part episode with Tim being displeased at how "Tool Time" had been changed into something resembling a corporate-sponsored "Jerry Springer"-like show, and Jill getting a new job offer with Jill worried about pay when Tim quits the show. The personal conflict revolved around Jill's job being in Bloomington, Indiana, a change that Tim strongly resisted initially.

Of course, after talking to Wilson, he agreed to leave Detroit. Tim ended his "Tool Time" appearances with a final show that garnered huge ratings. Then, Tim tore down the fence to make room for his former co-host Al's wedding. However, Jill realized that they would be moving out of the house the family grew up in. The conclusion was somewhat ambiguous, although Jill seemed adamant about them not moving. Binford also offered to bring Tim back to "Tool Time", including making him executive producer, something he has always wanted. The last shot was Tim imagining (a thought balloon was used for emphasis) putting the whole house on a flatbed truck and then on a tugboat, leaving the viewer to decide if they moved or stayed in Detroit.

The three-part series finale was taped twice, once with Wilson's face revealed and another with it hidden. ABC was to decide which version would air in May 1999. Ultimately, they aired the version with Wilson's face hidden, as in the other 200 episodes. This version was released later that fall on VHS, titled "Home Improvement: The Series Finale". The finale brought in 35.5 million viewers (34% of all Americans watching TV at that time.)

Awards and Nominations

"Home Improvement" received numerous awards and nominations in its 8 season run. Notable awards and nominations include:

"ASCAP Award"
**Won- Top TV Series- (Dan Foliart)
**Won- Top TV Series- (Dan Foliart)
**Won- Top TV Series- (Dan Foliart)
**Won- Top TV Series- (Dan Foliart)
**Won- Top TV Series- (Dan Foliart)
**Won- Top TV Series- (Dan Foliart)
**Won- Top TV Series- (Dan Foliart)
**Won- Top TV Series- (Dan Foliart) "'Casting Society of America"
**Nominated- Best Casting for TV, Pilot- (Deborah Barylski)

Golden Globe Awards
**Nominated- Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy (Tim Allen)
**Nominated- Best Television Series - Musical Or Comedy
**Nominated- Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy (Patricia Richardson)
**Nominated- Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy (Tim Allen)
**Nominated- Best Television Series - Musical Or Comedy
**Nominated- Best Performance by an Actress In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy (Patricia Richardson)
**Win- Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy (Tim Allen)
**Nominated- Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy (Tim Allen)
**Nominated- Best Performance by an Actor In A Television Series - Musical Or Comedy (Tim Allen)

Humanitas Prize
**Nominated- 30 Minute Category- (Elliot Shoenman) & (Marley Sims) Kids' Choice Awards
**Won- Favorite Television Actor (Tim Allen)
**Won- Favorite Television Show
**Won- Favorite Television Actor (Tim Allen)
**Won- Favorite Television Show
**Won- Favorite Television Actor (Tim Allen)
**Won- Favorite Television Show
**Won- Favorite Television Actor (Tim Allen)
**Won- Favorite Television Show
**Nominated- Favorite Television Actor (Jonathan Taylor Thomas)
**Won- Favorite Television Actor (Jonathan Taylor Thomas)
**Nominated- Favorite Television Actor (Tim Allen)
**Nominated- Favorite Television Show
**Nominated- Favorite Television Actor (Tim Allen)
**Nominated- Favorite Television Actor (Jonathan Taylor Thomas)People's Choice Awards
**Won- Favorite New TV Comedy Series
**Won- Favorite TV Comedy Series
**Won- Favorite TV Comedy Series
**Won- Favorite TV Comedy Series

Primetime Emmy Awards
**Nominated- Outstanding Comedy Series
**Nominated- Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series (Tim Allen)
**Nominated- Outstanding Comedy Series
**Nominated- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Patricia Richardson)
**Nominated- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Patricia Richardson)
**Nominated- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Patricia Richardson)
**Nominated- Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series (Patricia Richardson)

"YoungStar Awards"'
**Nominated-Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Comedy TV Series (Jonathan Taylor Thomas)
**Nominated-Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Comedy TV Series(Jonathan Taylor Thomas)
**Won-Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Comedy TV Series (Zachery Ty Bryan)

eries Development & Early Recasts

*"Home Improvement" had been in the works between Tim Allen and the writing/producing team of Carmen Finestra, David McFadzean and Matt Williams since the summer of 1990. Originally, the project's proposed title was "Hammer Time", both a play on the catchphrase made popular by artist MC Hammer and the name of the fictional fix-it show within the series, which was also called "Hammer Time". By the time ABC committed to the project in early 1991, Allen and his team had already changed the title to "Home Improvement", although the show hosted by Tim Taylor in the scripts was still called "Hammer Time" at this point. The catalyst for the series' name change was to represent the aspect of fixing problems within the family and homelife, as well as the use of mechanics and tools. Once the second phase of the pilot was produced, with all the actors that made the final cut into the series, Tim Taylor's "Hammer Time" became "Tool Time".
*The first version of the pilot was produced in April 1991, in which Frances Fisher played Jill Taylor. Fisher, primarily known as a dramatic actress, was well qualified for the co-starring role but was viewed by the studio audience as not being comedic enough, and too serious in her line delivery. The producers tried to work with Fisher on adapting to the situation comedy setting, but shortly after the pilot wrapped post-production, they decided to recast her. Carmen Finestra later remarked that the staff was afraid of Fisher's lover Clint Eastwood retaliating against the show over the dismissal of the actress, but no incidents or bad press ever came from Eastwood. All other actors who made it into the series' original on-air cast lineup were present in this version, which remains unaired.
*Before the first pilot was shot, actor John Bedford-Lloyd was in the running for one of two roles; that of Tim's "Tool Time" assistant, who was in this stage of development named Glen, and for the role of Wilson. Bedford-Lloyd eventually got the part of Wilson, but his agent later made claims that he was unaware that most of his scenes would require his face to be partially hidden behind a fence. One day prior to taping, the crew received news that Bedford-Lloyd had dropped out. Casting immediately contacted the other man considered for the role, Earl Hindman.
*Stephen Tobolowsky was tapped to play the "Tool Time" co-host, Glen. However, he was still busy with a movie that was in the middle of production at the time the first pilot was set to be shot. Therefore, the producers set out to cast an alternate character that would stand-in as Tim's co-host for the pilot only, or for however many episodes until Tobolowsky was available. Casting auditioned Richard Karn, for what would be his first major apparence on a TV sitcom; the character of Al Borland was created from there. Karn knew off the bat that he was only in the series for the pilot; after working through both pilots, Tobolowsky was still busy, so the producers kept extending Karn's stay by a few more episodes until Tobolowsky contacted the show and said he had decided not to do the series in favor of more movies. The character of Glen never came into existence.

Related products

* A Super NES game of the same name was based on the series. It had no manual; its splash screen explained, “Real men don’t need instructions.” The game didn't sell in large numbers, and is hard to find today.

* After the season 5 episode "Games, Flames, and Automobiles" aired in which Al created a game based on "Tool Time", Northern Games released "The Home Improvement Board Game", which can still be ordered online.

* Ryobi released a line of tools titled "Tim Allen Signature Tools", which were available for a limited time.

* Various pictures, posters, and calendars were released.

* The DVDs of the complete seasons were made available, including bonus features.

* In 1996, Mattel's "Hot Wheels" brand released a two-car pack entitled Home Improvement based on the show which featured Tim's 1933 Ford Convertible & the Dixie Chopper racing mower (with a mini-figure Tim as the rider) as well as a mini-figure of Al and a Binford tool box.

DVD Releases

All eight seasons are now available on Region 1 DVD. Season 8 has the "Backstage Pass" (which immediately followed "The Long and Winding Road, Part III") and the reunion show on the fourth disc of the set. A Complete Series set is not yet available, as Disney has not had a chance to create one. No word yet on a Blu-ray release of all eight seasons; though Disney completely supports the Blu-ray format.

DVD notes

The Region 1 DVDs are on three discs (with the exception of the Final Season set, which has four discs), where as the Region 2 DVDs are presented across four discs. The Region 2 packaging and programme menus for Season 1 vary compared to the Region 1 releases. The Season 3 menus in Region 1 are in widescreen, but 4:3 in Region 2. The Region 1 releases of Seasons 2 and 3 consist of (deliberate) "holes" in the outer packaging - these do not exist in the Region 2 releases; in fact, the Season 3 outer packaging is physically printed where the hole would be in the Region 1 packaging.

It has been mentioned on review sites about the lack of episode commentaries and bonus features on the DVDs. In an interview on about.com [ [http://movies.about.com/od/skippingchristmas/a/kranksta111904_4.htm Tim Allen Interview - Christmas with the Kranks, Toy Story 3 ] ] , Tim said that it was a done deal that the DVDs would not contain interviews or episode commentaries. Whether this was before or after somebody at Disney ordered the three commentaries available on the Season 1 DVDs is unknown.

UK Broadcasting

Originally, "Home Improvement" was aired on the Disney Channel, however, in 2005 it began broadcasting on abc1. On September 26 2007, abc1 ceased transmissions and no official announcement was made as to which channels would be broadcasting abc1's previous programming. "Home Improvement" has been shown on Virgin 1 since July 28 2008.

Nielsen Ratings

1991-1992 Season: #5 16.1 viewers [http://www.tv.com/home-improvement/show/635/summary.html?q=&tag=search_results;title;1 TV.com: Home Improvement] ]

1992-1993 Season: #3 18.0 viewers

1993-1994 Season: #1 19.2 viewers

1994-1995 Season: #3 18.6 viewers

1995-1996 Season: #7 15.4 viewers

1996-1997 Season: #9 13.5 viewers

1997-1998 Season: #10 11.7 viewers

1998-1999 Season: #10 10.9 viewers

See also

* List of Home Improvement episodes
* Recurring Characters on Home Improvement


External links

* [http://tvplex.go.com/touchstone/homeimprovement/ Official Homepage of "Home Improvement"]
* [http://imdb.com/title/tt0101120/ Home Improvement] at the Internet Movie Database
* [http://www.tv.com/home-improvement/show/635/summary.html TV.com]
* [http://www.hiarchive.co.uk/ The "Home Improvement" Archive]
* [http://www.ultimatedisney.com/homeimprovement-season1.html UltimateDisney.com - Seasons 1-8 DVD Reviews]
* [http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/shownews.cfm?ShowID=1691 News for "Home Improvement"]
* [http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Home-Improvement-Season-8/9174]
* [http://video.movies.go.com/tvondvdhits/home_imp_franchise/index.html Home Improvement Seasons 1-8 on DVD]

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