Home Improvement drew heavily upon the standup comedy routines of series co-creator Tim Allen, herein cast as Tim Taylor, star of the Detroit cable-TV series "Tool Time" -- sort of a low-rent version of Bob Vila's do-it-yourself opus This Old House . Allen's humor relied upon barbed but affectionate digs at his wife and kids, and his ever-increasing ineptitude in dealing with the follies and foibles of everyday life. In Home Improvement, Tim Taylor was affirmatively master of his domain on "Tool Time" -- even though he relied a bit too extensively on his all-purpose solution to any mechanical problem, "More Power! More Power!" -- but at home he was all thumbs with the household appliances, and a stumbler-bumbler supreme when dealing with his wife, Jill (Patricia Richardson), and three sons, Brad (Zachery Ty Bryan), Randy (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), and Mark (Taran Noah Smith).
The Taylor youngsters were typically mischievous and sometimes irksome but basically good kids, though youngest son Mark (age 6) tended to be victimized by the prankery of ten-year-old Brad and nine-year-old Randy. Also in the cast was Earl Hindman as the Taylors' philosophical, advice-dispensing neighbor Wilson, whose face was never clearly seen behind the backyard fence that separated the two neighbors' houses. Showing up on a recurring basis was Tim's long-suffering "Tool Time" assistant, Al Borland (Richard Karn), and the show's pulchritudinous "tool girl" Lisa (Pamela Anderson). Likewise making sporadic "Tool Time" appearances were Rock (Casey Sander), Peter (Mickey Jones), and Dwayne (Gary McGurk), the guys from K&B Construction. Initially telecast on ABC's Tuesday evening schedule, Home Improvement ended its first season as the nation's fifth highest-rated program. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi