Home Improvement and Thunder Alley

Home Improvement (1991-1999)
Thunder Alley (1994-1995)
Type: Crossover
Group: 2

   This was an obvious crossover for ABC to do. Nobody remembers it at all but at least it made sense to do.

   Home Improvement was a sitcom based on star Tim Allen's comedy act. about men and their love of tools. He played Tim Taylor, married father of three boys and host of a Detroit based fix it show called Tool Time. Tim loved to work with tools, tearing apart and rebuilding cars, appliances and anything else he could think of. Usually Tim's home improvements blew up in his face. But the show wasn't just about the big destruction-of-property gags. It actually also a look at a family man trying to grow and build better connections with his family. No, really. Just instead of a cry-athon Oprah was of doing it, they did it funny and with, ya know, crap blowing up.

   Midway through Home Improvement's run ABC put a similar show on the air as a mid-season replacement. Thunder Alley starred Ed Asner as older, retired race car driver Gil Jones. Gil now lived a bachelor life running a garage in Detroit. Then Gil's daughter Bobbi showed up. She was newly divorced with her son and two daughter in tow. Needless to say they all moved in and a battle of the sexes soon began between Gil and his daughter.

   So, two shows on the same network both about car loving guy's guys living in Detroit. How do you not do a crossover? I think you're legally obligated to do one. The weird thing is they didn't do the crossover you'd expect. I mean, you'd think it would be Tim Taylor meeting up with Gil. Nope. The crossover had to do with Tim's son Brad asking Gil's granddaughter Claudine out to a dance. They were both really young (around 12 years old) so Claudine's mom and grandpa was worried about the situation and wanted to spell out some very specific guidelines for this date.

   What the hell? I mean... go for it! Do a big story with Tim and Gil blowing up a car or something. A school dance?!?!?!? That might have helped Thunder Alley get some attention and stay on the air. When it hit the air it got a good number of viewers. But something went wrong in its second season and it fizzled out. A big blowout crazy style crossover on Thunder Alley might have grabbed more viewers than a kids-on-a-date one.

Other Home Improvement Crossover Links
Home Improvement and Buddies
Home Improvement and The Drew Carey Show
Home Improvement and Soul Man

Click here to return to main Crossover List

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