Sure, you’re seeing double.
Tim Allen reprised his function as Home Improvement‘s Tim “The Device Man” Taylor throughout Thursday’s Last Man Standing. Within the episode, Vanessa employed the previous Device Time host (who was sporting a classic Binford Instruments t-shirt) to deal with a collection of house repairs. The half-hour concluded with a really meta dialog between Allen’s alter egos, which additionally alluded to the Fox sitcom’s fast-approaching collection finale.
Beneath, showrunner Kevin Abbott discusses the unlikely crossover occasion (which paid homage to a late Residence Enchancment solid member) and divulges how Mike and Tim’s dialogue will get the Out of doors Man boss eager about his third act.
TVLINE | Let’s begin at the start. When did the thought first come about to have Allen reprise his Residence Enchancment function?
We had already damaged the primary seven episodes when Fox, as they at all times do, requested, “Hey, is there some massive occasion, or one thing grabby you possibly can have as your premiere?” And I simply hate these [episodes]. I have a tendency to consider our present as a small present, you recognize? We inform small tales — so, by definition, one thing massive and stunty actually doesn’t occur on our present. It was [our writer] Jon Haller who stated, “We’ve had a number of the Residence Enchancment folks on, and the one main character we haven’t had is Tim Taylor,” and I went, “That’s good. You’re going to begin getting paid, sir.” [Laughs]
TVLINE | As soon as the thought was pitched, was it so simple as writing the episode? Or did it’s important to get permission to make use of the Tim Taylor character?
There have been some authorized points to leap by means of, consider it or not. I believed, properly, this shall be simple as a result of I do know Tim [will be into it], however we needed to bounce by means of some hoops. However [Home Improvement creators] Matt Williams, David McFadzean and Carmen Finestra have been fairly form and really beneficiant, they usually allowed us to make use of the character and a number of the bits, and we had a good time.
TVLINE | How protecting was Allen of the Residence Enchancment legacy?
I might say very protecting. I made him the promise getting in that we might respect it. I really liked Residence Enchancment, so I didn’t wish to do something that will in any means disparage that character and that franchise, I didn’t wish to mock it in any means, form or kind. I wished to watch out. Possibly they do one thing with [the ABC sitcom] sooner or later, a reboot or something, I don’t know, so I didn’t wish to entice them in something both. And Tim and I had a number of lengthy discussions about the place Tim Taylor would have wound up at this cut-off date. We modified the storyline a pair instances in an effort to attempt to arrive at a spot that all of us felt excellent about.
TVLINE | The episode featured a scene that paid tribute to Tim Taylor’s longtime neighbor, Wilson, and his portrayer, the late Earl Hindman. Did Allen provide his enter?
He wished to make sure that his affection for the Wilson character and Earl was in there and that it was trustworthy. It was attention-grabbing, as a result of the entire episode moved Tim. He was affected by it. He stated to me, “You captured a number of the issues that we’re all going by means of, which is our run right here, transferring on, and recognizing how good issues have been…” I feel he introduced a number of private emotion [to the episode], and it was actually fairly highly effective.
TVLINE | Numerous what Allen stated to you concerning the episode comes by means of in that final trade between Mike and Tim. Does that dialog propel Mike to start out thinking about his retirement?
Sure, that’s precisely what propels him. He’s at that stage and questioning: What ought to he do subsequent? The place will his life go subsequent? Is his life on the monitor that he needs it to be on? And the worry once you’ve completed properly in lifetime of making an attempt one thing new, or taking it in a distinct route and perhaps not succeeding. We discovered it to be wealthy territory that we’re going to proceed to discover this season.
TVLINE | Quickly sufficient, you’ll be writing Final Man‘s collection finale. Now that Tim Taylor exists within the Final Man Universe, does that rule out a remaining scene that mirrors Newhart, the place Tim wakes up subsequent to Patricia Richardson’s Jill Taylor once more after an extended slumber?
[Laughs] We talked about a few situations, however I don’t know. I can’t make up my thoughts whether or not I wish to exit sort of loopy or extra heartfelt, however we’ll determine it out.
Did Final Man Standing‘s Residence Enchancment episode stay as much as your expectations — or perhaps even exceed them? Grade it by way of the next ballot, then drop a remark together with your full overview.