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Patricia Richardson Used Home Improvement Pay Gap to End Series

Patricia Richardson Used Home Improvement Pay Gap to End Series

Patricia Richardson and Tim Allen
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Patricia Richardson is opening up about the pay gap between herself and Tim Allen on long-running sitcom Home Improvement and how she used it to bring an end to the series.

When Richardson, 73, spoke to the Los Angeles Times for the 25th anniversary of the series finale, she shared that Allen was being offered $2 million per episode to return for a ninth season — double what the studio was planning to pay her.

Richardson said that prior to the end of the eighth season, she and Allen agreed that Home Improvement was done. Longtime directors had left the series, which put Allen and Richardson in the awkward position of explaining their established characters to newcomers. She told her friends “there’s not enough money in the world to get me to do a ninth year. The show is over. It needs to end.” Allen agreed, according to Richardson, until he saw Disney’s extension offer.

Richardson felt betrayed and used Allen’s acceptance to end the series. She asked for the exact same offer, fully aware that she would be declined.

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While Tim Allen has played family-friendly characters onscreen, he’s also dealt with his fair share of controversy. Before he became a comedian and an actor, Allen struggled with alcohol and drug addiction after having his first taste as a kid. “After my old man died [when I was 11], I really just played games with […]

“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,” she said. “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.”

Richardson said the close of the final season was tense on set. Both leads were reportedly mad at each other: Allen over Richardson’s refusal to return, Richardson over Allen leaving her out on a limb.

Patricia Richardson Used Home Improvement Pay Gap With Co Star Tim Allen to End Series

Tim Allen and Patricia Richardson
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“I was mad at Tim because he was leaving me alone being the only person saying no, which made me feel terrible and like the bad guy,” she said. “He was upset with me for leaving.”

Allen’s representatives declined to comment when reached by Us Weekly.

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Does everybody know what time it is? That was the famous phrase that came out of Home Improvement, the ABC sitcom that aired from September 1991 to May 1999. The 30-minute comedy followed Tim “The Toolman” Taylor (Tim Allen) as he hosted a home-improvement show titled “Tool Time,” even though he’s not at all a […]

Richardson shot down rumors of a Home Improvement reunion in March. Allen had shared that he and co-star Richard Karn were open to returning to their iconic roles as the hosts of Tool Time.

“He never asked me and he never asked [onscreen son] Jonathan [Taylor Thomas], who I talk to,” she claimed on an episode of the “Back to the Best” podcast. “I called Jonathan one day, I said, ‘Has he asked you about this?’ And he went, ‘No, why is he going around telling everybody that we’re all on board when he hasn’t talked to you or me? I think that’s weird.’”