Home Improvement Star Used Gender Pay Gap with Tim Allen to Force the Show to End

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Summary

  • Patricia Richardson used pay gap as leverage, and ended Home Improvement after the eighth season on her own terms.
  • Tim Allen and Richardson boosted their careers through success, but Richardson won’t consider revival.
  • Richardson shot down revival rumors, revealing Allen made false claims, sparking intrigue among fans.



Patricia Richardson has revealed she purposely played on the pay gap between herself and co-star Tim Allen to make sure ABC sitcom Home Improvement ended after its eighth season. As the network looked to renew the series for another season, Richardson made it almost impossible for financer Disney to agree to her terms, effectively guaranteeing the show came to an end.

In a recent interview, the actress best known for playing Jill Taylor in the series shared details about the pay gap between herself and Allen, and how it helped influence her initial decision to make sure she was not asked to do more episodes beyond Season 8. Richardson told the Los Angeles Times:

“I told everybody, ‘There’s not enough money in the world to get me to do a ninth year. This show is over. It needs to end.’”


Richardson added that she was offered $1 million per episode to take part in a ninth season of Home Improvement – which was half the offer Allen was given. According to the actress, she really did not want to do any more episodes as, having just come through a divorce from husband Ray Baker, she wanted to spend more time with her family. Richardson explained that she laid out her terms for returning as being offered the same pay as Allen, and having an executive producer credit for the season. According to the star, she knew this would never get the green light. She said:


“I knew that Disney would in no way pay me that much. That was my way to say ‘no’ and was a little bit of a flip-off to Disney. I’d been there all this time, and they never even paid me a third of what Tim was making, and I was working my ass off. I was a big reason why women were watching.”


Could There Be a Home Improvement Revival?

Home Improvement aired between 1991 and 1999, becoming a huge success and boosting the careers of both Allen and Richardson. Although it is now 25 years since the series came to its conclusion, the subject of a revival has come up in several recent interviews.


Although Allen reprised his role as Tim “The Toolman” Taylor, and reunited with Richardson, on the series Last Man Standing several years ago, the actress recently shot down hope of a revival of Home Improvement following a tease by Allen. Sharing her thoughts on the Back to the Best podcast in March this year, Richardson addressed Allen’s suggestion that everyone was onboard with the idea of bringing the series back. She said:

“I would hear on [social media] that he was coming out publicly and saying this stuff about how everyone was on board to do a Home Improvement reunion, but he never asked me, and he never asked Jonathan [Taylor Thomas]. I called Jonathan one day and I said, ‘Has he asked you about this?’ And he went, ‘No. Why is he going around telling everyone that we’re on board when he hasn’t talked to you or me?’ I think that’s weird. He was lying to people and telling them that I was on board and I didn’t know anything about it.”


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While it looks like there won’t be any new episodes of Home Improvement anytime in the foreseeable future, fans of the series can see the original eight seasons streaming on Disney+.


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