Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Reason Why Home Improvement Was Cancelled After Season 8

They say money can't buy happiness — and it certainly can't buy Home Improvement co-stars Tim Allen and Patricia Richardson. 

If you're not a '90s kid, it's hard to describe just how big of a phenomenon Home Improvement was in its heyday. The family sitcom turned Allen into a household name and his signature noise from the series — a mixture of a generic dad character's sigh and the guttural wailing of a monster from a fantasy novel — will forever be etched in the annals of popular culture. (Think about it this way: how many television sitcoms have their own video game adaptation?) 

So why did such a successful series end after its eighth season on air? Let's discuss.

During its run, Home Improvement always finished in the top 10 most-watched shows, and the series finale was viewed by an estimated 35 million people across the United States with a "21.2 rating and a 34 share" — which means that a third of all TVs were set on ABC to see the ending of the series

However, by the time all was said and done, the actors who portrayed the patriarchs of the Taylor family — Allen as Timothy "Tim" Taylor and Richardson as Jillian "Jill" Taylor — couldn't even be bribed with a combined $75 million to stay on for another season.

By the time Home Improvement season 8 was wrapping up production, ABC and the show's production team wanted to bring everyone back for another season. Pretty reasonable for a show that had never dropped out of the top 10 shows in America, to be sure. But by this time, Allen and Richardson had wanted nothing more than to move on. Richardson had just finished her first major film role a few years before, and Allen was riding the Disney train to Hollywood superstardom with his role as Buzz Lightyear in the Toy Story franchise. Not wanting to lose their cash cow, network executives threw boatloads of cash at the pair — $25 million for Richardson and $50 million for Allen. Both stars turned it down without a second thought.

When asked about the financial windfall that wasn't to be, Richardson said, "Yeah I would've liked to have had the $25 million, you know, but I already made a lot of money from Home Improvement, I made enough to live well [for] the rest of my life without working, I knew I'd wanna work anyway. You know, do I need a Learjet? No, I really don't." 

Both Allen and Richardson have gone on to have lengthy Hollywood careers, and while one can't help but wonder if the pair ever regrets turning down such a lucrative offer, they're surely doing just fine for themselves.