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Home Improvement

Following the Success of ‘Roseanne,’ ‘Home Improvement’ Wants Its Piece of the Pie

If one ’90s reboot is good, then two has to be better!
April 30, 2018
3 mins read

When “Roseanne” left the air, many believed the show would fade to black. The series was on ABC for eight years, from 1989 – 1997, and tackled topics in the quintessential white working-class family, including abortion and homosexuality.

Sara Gilbert, who played Darlene Conner, was the first person who talked with members of the old cast about a reboot. She confirmed in an interview with Variety, “I think I didn’t feel done with it, honestly. I think for all these years I’ve thought about it, measured things against it. And I guess I just needed to go back … I just really needed to know what it would feel like to do it now.”

Continuing where the show left off, the new iteration of “Roseanne” tackles political issues, including gun control, the opioid crisis and unemployment. Despite the media calling “Roseanne” a political-heavy show, cast members have said that they want to create a realistic depiction of the working-class family and encourage conversation between viewers.

Since the “Roseanne” season premiere drew in 17 million viewers last month, characters from famous shows have begun talks of rebooting their series as well. Richard Karn, who played Al Borland in the series “Home Improvement,” spoke to Closer Weekly. “I just talked to Tim Allen about it, and I think Pat Richardson and the kids would be on board,” he said.

For those who did not watch “Home Improvement,” the show centered on Tim Taylor (played by Tim Allen), his wife Jill (Pat Richardson) and his three sons, Randy, Brad and Mark (Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Zachary Ty Bryan and Taran Noah Smith).

Tim Taylor and Al Borland created their own show, “Tool Time,” while their next-door neighbor, Wilson (played by the late Earl Hindman), provided tidbits of wisdom during the show. The show was on ABC for eight years, from 1991 – 1999.

Home Improvement
Richard Karn and Tim Allen were the stars of the fictional show “Tool Time” on their real show, “Home Improvement” (Image via TBS)

Although Allen is not opposed to the reboot of “Home Improvement,” he has expressed disappointment that his recent series, “Last Man Standing,” in which he played a conservative man, Mike Baxter, was cancelled last March after being on the air for six seasons.

He told Entertainment Tonight, “I still miss ‘Last Man Standing.’ We didn’t get our seventh year. I adored that show. It’s like having a new dog and now to go back to the old dog? I don’t know. I like both characters, but yeah, I’d be very interested in that idea.”

Furthermore, according to Entertainment Weekly, Allen believes the reason ABC cancelled “Last Man Standing” is because he is a “likable conservative.” However, if that were the case, the “Roseanne” reboot would never make it to air, because Barr, as the titular character, made her political views known as a conservative that supports President Trump.

This is not the first time that “Home Improvement” has appealed for a reboot. Bob Iger, who is the CEO of Disney, wanted consumers to be able to stream “Home Improvement,” but the deal was never made.

If “Roseanne” struck comedy gold on ABC as the revitalization of a hit ’90s show though, then it’s more than possible that “Home Improvement” could continue the streak of old shows capitalizing off the nostalgia of modern audiences.

Alex Johnson, New York University

Writer Profile

Alexandria Johnson

New York University
Journalism and Public Policy

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