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Patricia Richardson has opened up about her time on the hit sitcom Home Improvement and revealed why the show came to an end. Photo: Supplied via NZH
Why Home Improvement Ended
Home Improvement star Patricia Richardson has revealed the real reason why the hit sitcom was canceled after eight successful seasons.
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Home Improvement ran from 1991 to 1999, however, after eight seasons Richardson was ready to leave the show.
Speaking to Entertainment Tonight about her time on the sitcom, she said that she and Allen had butted heads over negotiating for her to stay on for another season, but she ultimately declined.
When the writers suggested they “kill off” her character, Allen refused – and said he didn’t want to continue the series without her, so it was canceled soon after.
Richardson also revealed that she never auditioned for the role of Jill, and only “stumbled upon it when the producers got desperate”.
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“[The network said] we have to have someone who challenges him and is a feminist as much as a masculinist,” Richardson recalled of Tim “The Toolman” Taylor’s character.
Richardson admitted that she was initially skeptical about joining the sitcom, but both she and the producers felt that her chemistry with Allen was so good that she couldn’t pass up the role.
After the show aired, it was a hit and Richardson said she noticed how her themes really resonated with parents.
“The primary thing I saw most in the mail was, ‘Are you looking through our windows? The things you and Tim are fighting about are like our family,'” Richardson recalled.
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“Or, ‘I get it, I have three sons too’ or, ‘This is so weird, because it’s just like our family!'”Home › Entertainment › ‘Last Man Standing’: How the Series Finale Almost Ended with Epic! Link to ‘Home Improvement’
“Last Man Standing” said goodbye to the Baxter family in an emotional hour of television. But it almost contained a “Home Improvement” callback.
The show almost played with it, it was all a dream twist. Specifically, “Last Man Standing” and the Baxters would be Tim “Toolman” Taylor’s dream. Taylor would wake up in bed with his wife Jill (Patricia Richardson). You’d wonder if the whole show was a dream.
It is a callback to Bob Newhart and the ending of his show “Newhart” in 1990. That show ended with everything being a dream of the main character from his previous series “The Bob Newhart Show”. In an interview with TVLine, showrunner Kevin Abbott revealed that “Last Man Standing” almost referenced that classic ending.
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“I wouldn’t feel bad if I borrowed it, because I think it would be a tribute to Bob Newhart,” Abbott explained. “We talked about it, and if we hadn’t done the Tim Taylor-Mike Baxter meeting earlier in the season, we might have done something like that. But we also wanted to end on [the Outdoor Man vlog], since the vlog was a signature device of the show.”
The creators of “Last Man Standing” toyed with several ways to bring the series to an end. In one idea, Kyle finally becomes a priest. And Ed would go with him. That would be a callback to the pilot, which focused on the character as a new hire.
“We would make it as funny as possible, but everything will be bittersweet, melancholy,” Abbott told TVLine. “That’s why we made [the finale] about the theft of a truck and made the truck a metaphor for losing something you care about and have invested in for a long time. We could say goodbye to the truck [and] keep that bittersweet, maudlin quality in one scene, rather than manifesting [over the course of an episode].”
Another idea involved Mike’s daughter Kristin taking over Outdoor Man from Mike. “Last Man Standing” would end with the daughters inheriting and working in the store.
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“It felt very legitimate, by the way, because the role was not about business expertise. It was about common sense … having a sense of, you know, what works and what doesn’t,” Abbott explained.
But “Last Man Standing” ultimately didn’t want to reinvent the formula. Maybe they wanted to leave enough room to reboot the sitcom if that day ever came. Country Living editors select each featured product. If you buy through the link, we may earn a commission. Why do you trust us?
Although fans were devastated when the series came to an end in 1999, Patricia was happy to have the opportunity to spend more time with her children.
Because I was a single parent and too far away from my children – said the 67-year-old actress
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She shares children Roxanne, Joseph and Henry with ex-husband Ray Baker, and although she has turned down many opportunities, she has no regrets about “leaving the industry”.
“I also missed another show that won, like, 30 Emmys. But I don’t want to sound like, ‘Oh, I sacrificed this huge thing for my kids,’ because that’s what I wanted,” she said. “Sure, that’s what they needed, but it was also what I needed because I missed them terribly.”
Although she admitted that she “hated the fame,” one positive side effect came from her years on the small screen: her relationship with her former castmates. According to
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She still stays in touch with Zachery Ty Bryan and Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who played her sons on the show. She also guest starred on Tim’s series,
“When I went to do the show, he would think it was so weird,” she recalled. “He would do a bedroom scene with Nancy [Travis], then I would be on set and his real wife would be in the audience. He was so confused!”
Megan Stein is the executive editor for The Pioneer Woman, and oversees entertainment, features and news for the website. Whether she’s covering the latest true crime podcast or re-watching the best ’80s movies for the zillionth time, she’s always here to talk about anything and everything related to pop culture.
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Why Jonathan Taylor Thomas Left Home Improvement After Season 7
The sitcom about a family man who hosted his own home improvement show called “Tool Time” became one of the most watched series of the ’90s. It helped launch the careers of several actors, including several child stars. After going off the air in 1999, most of the cast continued to act and make guest appearances on the shows, while others left the limelight for good.
From Tim Allen to Jonathan Taylor Thomas, here’s what the cast of “Home Improvement” has been up to since going off the air 22 years ago.
Allen began his career in stand-up comedy. It did so well that ABC executives offered him two series, but he turned both down. Eventually, he began working with producer Matt Williams — who turned “Roseanne” into a success — to create a sitcom about Allen’s stand-up persona, who was a simple man who loved building.
Allen starred in all eight seasons and earned a 1993 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series.
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Today, Allen stars in another successful sitcom that is coming to an end. He is also working on a new show with his co-host “Tool Time”.
In 2011, Allen began filming the movie “Last Man Standing” where he plays a father trying to maintain his masculinity in a house full of his wife and three daughters. After nine seasons — first on ABC and now on Fox — the series is set for a series finale in 2021.
Allen also reunited with fellow “Home Improvement” star Richard Karn, who played “Tool Time” co-host Al Borland. They host home improvement contests,
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