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After temporarily saying farewell to TV viewers when Last Man Standing was cancelled at ABC, Tim Allen returned as Mike Baxter for more seasons on Fox. But even though the final season only started in early January, the end is already just around the corner for Outdoor Man and his vlogs. Thankfully, audiences were able to witness a truly bonkers crossover when Allen pulled double duties by bringing Home Improvement's Tim Taylor into Last Man Standing's universe. And what's more, the episode winkingly nudge-nudged viewers by teasing the idea of the classic '90s sitcom making a return in the future.
In order to bring Tim Taylor into Mike Baxter's world, Last Man Standing's creative team set up the narrative so that the renovation show Tool Time was cancelled, leading Tim to become a higher-up within the company Binford Tools. While in Denver checking out a local store, he sought out Mike Baxter due to rumors that they looked alike, and the two men bonded. (With bonding noises.) After paying homage to Home Improvement's beloved neighbor Wilson, as portrayed by late actor Earl Hindman, Last Man Standing featured Mike telling Tim that he should "think about rebooting that Tool Time." Unsurprisingly, that comment got fans excited at the potential prospect of Home Improvement returning to TV for a revival season, inspiring comments like the one below on Twitter.
Please tell me Tool Time is coming back. Sounded like a hint to me..?
Now, it would be interesting if Tool Time itself was revived as a standalone series, removed from the greater world, with Tim Taylor fixing stuff alongside Richard Karn's Al Borland, possibly with Debbe Dunning's Heidi Keppert back as the presenter. But that wouldn't be very respectful of Patricia Richardson's Jill Taylor, or the characters' sons, as portrayed by Zachery Ty Bryan, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Taran Noah Smith, and it wouldn't give fans the family dynamic that made Home Improvement work so well. Plus, Allen and Karn already do have an unscripted series on the way that should scratch that Tool Time itch.
I don't think anyone needs to go out on a limb to grasp that the Twitter user with the name "Home Improvement" and the handle "@HIReunion" felt seen when Last Man Standing made its Tool Time reboot reference.
Viewers were definitely pumped to see the different ways that Last Man Standing referenced Home Improvement, since everything was good-natured and respectful. That only helped to fuel the revival hopes, too, so the creative team definitely knew what it was doing.
I liked how they worked in the home improvement style commercial break segue where current scene (this case the Baxter house) kinda deconstructs and collapses. Some of the sound effects from the series and the homage to Wilson. Hope you're serious about a reboot @ofctimallen.
It's hard to know what the chances really are for a Home Improvement revival. Rights to the former ABC sitcom are owned by Disney, so there are roughly 1,000 places where it could air if it did return for a continuation, from its former ABC home to Fox to FX to Disney+. Tim Allen might even have his own streaming service at some point. So there are definitely options, and more than enough fans that would welcome its return, even without a sledgehammer.
So what do all you readers think? Was Mike's line to Tim in Last Man Standing's "Dual Time" just a throwaway line that the writers knew would get fans thinking, or do you agree with the below Twitter user that it was maybe a legitimate sign of Home Improvement's potential return? Let us know in the poll below!
Unfortunately, Home Improvement isn't currently available anywhere for streaming-by-subscription, though fans can purchase episodes and seasons via Amazon or other such platforms. While waiting to hear any possible updates about a revival, remember that Last Man Standing airs on Fox every Thursday night at 9:30 p.m. ET, and head to our Winter and Spring TV premiere schedule to check out all the new and returning shows on the way.