The Phone Call Jonathan Taylor Thomas And His TV Mom Patricia Richardson Had After Tim Allen Said There Had Been Home Improvement Reboot Discussions

 Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Patricia Richardson on Home Improvement.
Jonathan Taylor Thomas and Patricia Richardson on Home Improvement.

Hollywood is going through a bit of a reboot/revival/spinoff phase right now, which has seen more than a few beloved TV series make comebacks. One that’s yet to do that is Home Improvement, the Tim Allen-led family sitcom that aired for eight seasons on ABC in the ‘90s. Nevertheless, Allen has been talking about plans to bring back the beloved series for some time now. At one point, he even claimed that the purported production could indeed become a reality and that his former castmates were all up for it. However, fresh comments shared by his on-screen wife, Patricia Richardson, refute that claim. She also opened up about a phone call she had with another co-star, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, after Allen made the claims.

Patricia Richardson played the role of Jillian “Jill” Taylor for the entire duration of HI’s run from 1991 to 1999. As she explained during her recent appearance on the Back to the Best podcast, the work wasn’t always easy due to creative clashes early on or contract negotiations. However, she seems to have a genuine level of affection for the show. That being said, the 73-year-old actress revealed that she was taken aback when Tim Allen – who played Tim Taylor on the sitcom – announced that a reboot of sorts was being considered, with the cast aiming to return. Richardson’s confusion ultimately led her to call her on-screen son, Jonathan Taylor Thomas and, on the podcast, she recalled how that chat played out:

It was so weird. I would hear on Twitter or whatever, I’d hear that he was coming out publicly and saying this stuff about everyone was on board to do a Home Improvement reunion, but he never asked me, and he never asked Jonathan [Taylor Thomas], who I talk to. So I called Jonathan one day, and I said, 'Has he asked you about this? He went, 'No.' ‘So why is he saying everyone is on board when he hasn’t talked to you or me?’ I think that’s weird.

If I’m being honest, I would also find it “weird” if I were an actor and a former co-star were talking up a theoretical project and saying I’m involved and in reality, I’m not. I’d imagine that the chat Patricia Richardson and (now-42-year-old) Jonathan Taylor Thomas had was a bit awkward. However, it sounds like the two were of one accord. In a clip from the podcast that was shared to YouTube, Richardson went on to say that Home Improvement’s leading man made a claim about another spinoff, which supposedly involved her character:

And then, there started being this rumor going around that somebody had a script that was like a Jill script, ‘Jill’s Dream,’ or something like that. And [Allen] was kind of lying to people and telling them that I was on board, and I didn’t know anything about it. So I wrote a big thing on Twitter and said, ‘ I'm not involved in any series with Jill and also never even been asked to do another Home Improvement reunion thing.’ But I wouldn’t want to.

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Tim Allen and Earl Hindman in ABC Photo Archives for Home Improvement, fence scene.
Tim Allen and Earl Hindman in ABC Photo Archives for Home Improvement, fence scene.

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We, of course, can’t speak to Tim Allen’s rationale when making such statements, but what can be said is that the 70-year-old comedian has been hyped about bringing the Taylor family back. In 2020, Allen discussed a Home Improvement revival that would theoretically bring back the cast and, at that time, he said that “all the actors think it’s a great idea.” He shared another HI spinoff idea in late 2023, which would focus on the children of Tim and Jill Taylor’s three sons, Mark, Randy and Brad. When discussing a theoretical title, he coined the moniker Home Re-Improvement.

Surely, there are plenty of fans who would love to see what the Tool Time host as well as his friends and family are up to now. However, Patricia Richardson doesn’t think such a series would work for a few reasons:

I mean, Zach[ery Ty Bryan] is now a felon. Taran [Noah Smith] hasn’t acted since he left the show. He's not an actor anymore. And Jonathan's not really interested in acting. He wants to direct and write. And we don’t have Wilson. So if they did it without Earl [Hindman] and also we just have two kids, you know probably, if that, it’s not going to be the show at all. And people think we can just magically go right back to who we were 30 years ago and do a show that was 30 years ago, and we’ve all changed quite a bit, I think.

She’s certainly correct in saying that a reboot would look very different from the OG series. On paper, it’s hard to say for sure whether it truly would or wouldn’t work. Regardless, the chances of it actually happening are probably slim, though, especially since Tim Allen is headed back to TV for a new show on ABC called Shifting Gears. As the actor recently stated, he’s “geeked” about getting a third chance at a sitcom.

So, with that in mind, I’m not sure Patricia Richardson or Jonathan Taylor Thomas will be getting official calls from ABC or their former co-star in regards to a Home Improvement reboot. Nevertheless, based on Richardson’s comments, she’s fine with the OG show standing on its own, and Thomas wants to get into directing. Hopefully, both get the opportunities they desire, as their former scene partner gets his. All the while, you can still stream all eight seasons of the classic ‘90s sitcom using a Disney+ subscription.