How Tim Allen’s ‘Last Man Standing’ Managed to Get Permission for That Legendary ‘Home Improvement’ Crossover

by Megan Molseed

As the final season of the hit Tim Allen’s sitcom series, Last Man Standing came to a close, it also brought some major closure for fans of the TV comedian. So much so, in fact, that viewers even got an update on another one of Tim Allen’s characters, Tim Taylor from the hit 1990s series Home Improvement. This update comes as Last Man Standing showrunners use some impressive TV magic in order to create an epic crossover event. However, putting together this iconic sitcom moment came with a few complications.

Last Man Standing Showrunners Seek Permission To Introduce Home Improvement Character In Final Season

According to Last Man Standing showrunner, Kevin Abbot, bringing in Tim Allen’s Tim Taylor for the show’s final season wasn’t as easy as most people would think. But, Abbot notes, they were still confident it was going to happen.

The storyline is introduced in the sitcom’s last season when Vanessa hires a home improvement repairman who happens to look eerily like Allen’s Last Man Standing character, Mike. And, the two finally come face-to-face in an epic cross-over moment.

“We had already broken the first seven episodes and our intention was to have the Time Flies [flash-forward] be the first episode,” notes Abbot of Last Man Standing’s final season.

“And Fox came to us and said, ‘We’d love it if you could come up with some big promotable event,'” the showrunner adds. With this, the crossover idea was born.

Tim Allen Has To Give the First ‘Go Ahead’ For Home Improvement Cross Over Event

Abbot recalls how the Last Man Standing writers pointed out that the series has seen many Home Improvement stars appear as guest stars. However, Tim “The Toolman” Taylor had yet to step onto the set.

“It seems so obvious, so great and yet we didn’t think of it before,” Abbot recalls.

“So we all got very excited about it,” he adds. “Felt good that we’d be able to land the actor,” Abbot notes that the first hurdle the writers had in this plan was to get Tim Allen himself to sign off on the idea.

“I want to make sure that he wanted to play it — which he did,” Abbot relates.

“He fully embraced the idea, with the proviso that we would honor that character,” the showrunner adds. “Not make fun of him or anything, which we would never do.” Next, the showrunners had to approach the Fox network to see if Disney – who holds the rights to Home Improvement – would be open to the idea.

“It took a while,” Abbot recalls.

“There are bigger legal hurdles than you would think in all of that,” the showrunner explains.

“It was the day before the table read that I got permission to actually go forward with the episode,” he adds.

“And that was only because I threatened, ‘I’m reading it anyway,'” Abbot quips. “So they finally agreed to it.”