The Tim Allen sitcom universes will converge in the final season of Last Man Standing. In the first preview for the new episodes of the long-running Fox sitcom, Allen’s Mike Baxter meets Tim Taylor, the comedian’s character from his previous beloved sitcom, Home Improvement. The 30-second spot includes another wink and nod to Allen’s The Santa Clause movies. Last Man Standing debuts on Jan. 3 on Fox.
At the beginning of the spot, Mike vows not to shave during the coronavirus pandemic, which goes on much longer than he expected. Mike wound up growing a full-size beard. “I could play… Santa Claus,” Mike said. Then, the spot shows the mind-bending scene of Mike shaking hands with Tim Taylor, despite both characters being played by the same actor. “They call me the tool man!” Tim told Mike, who was unimpressed with the Home Improvement catchphrase. “That’s a little annoying,” Mike said.
The Home Improvement/Last Man Standing crossover will be the Season 9 premiere. “he Baxters see double when Vanessa hires a home improvement repairman who bears an uncanny resemblance to Mike, who is struggling with an idea for his Outdoor Man 10th Anniversary vlog,” reads the episode description. It is appropriately titled “Dual Time.”
Fox announced back in October that Last Man Standing would be coming to an end with its ninth season. The show started on ABC but was canceled after its first six seasons. The last three seasons aired on Fox. Unlike ABC’s decision to cancel it, the decision to end it after Season 9 sounds like an amicable one.
“I’ve been one lucky dude to have been part of Last Man Standing. I so appreciate the incredible support from our fans over this near-decade of work,” Allen said in a statement in October. “As we approach the ninth season, I just admire and feel grateful for all the hard work our wonderful cast and crew have done. We had all considered to end the show after last season, but together with Fox, we decided to add a year so we could produce a full season to create the gentle and fun goodbye. I’m looking forward to a memorable and hilarious final season.”
Home Improvement ran on ABC from 1991 to 1999. Allen recently reunited with his co-star Richard Karn for a new History Channel show, titled Assembly Required. The new competition series features the “best and brightest builders from across the country,” who try to bring new life to broken household items. A premiere date has not been announced yet.