Tim Taylor (Tim Allen), self-assured authority on all things mechanical while starring in his own cable-TV series "Tool Time," continues to be an all-thumbs prophet without honor in his own home as Home Improvement enters its third season. With Tim's on-air "Tool Girl" Lisa having left for greener pastures (much like the actress who played her, Pamela Anderson), Debbe Dunning joins the regular cast as new Tool Girl Heidi, every bit as voluptuous as her predecessor. In another season-three development, Tim's "Tool Time" helper, Al (Richard Karn), a lifelong bachelor, begins yearning for a wife and kids on the occasion of his 35th birthday, thus Tim's helpful missus, Jill (Patricia Richardson), fixes Al up with her friend Ilene Markham (Sherry Hursey) -- whereupon the overwhelmed Al proposes to Ilene during a "Tool Time" broadcast! Finally, Robert Picardo joins the cast as Tim's explosive new neighbor Joe Morton, as does Mariangela Pino as Joe's wife, Marie Morton. Even as Heidi, Ilene, and the Mortons come on board, another recurring character passes from the scene: Mr. Binford, Tim's boss, sponsor, and friend. The death of Binford culminates in a touching (but still very funny) episode in which Tim is afraid to cry upon hearing the news. For the third year in a row, the series' season finale finds Tim locked in deadly competition with rival do-it-yourself TV host Bob Vila, playing "himself" for the last time (on this show, at any rate!) in "The Great Race II." Also for the third year in a row, the series' lighting director, Donald A. Morgan, picked up an Emmy award. Home Improvement closed out season three as America's second most popular series.
by Hal Erickson synopsis