Tim Allen and his “Home Improvement” castmate Richard Karn reunite as hosts and executive producers for “Assembly Required,” a 10-episode competition series premiering at 10 p.m. Tuesday evening on The History Channel.
In each episode, three makers compete from their home shops as they create projects ranging from a dual all-season ice melter/leaf blower to a barbecue bicycle while Allen and Karn pop in virtually to deliver commentary and oversee their work across two challenge rounds.
Woodworking do-it-yourself YouTube star April Wilkerson explains the challenges involved in each project.
Round one consists of the “Make-or-break challenge” where all three makers have 90 minutes to build an item of Allen and Karn’s choosing while using the items specifically curated for them in their “mystery crates.” Round one builds include a fire extinguisher, water fountain, treadmill and hand-held vacuum. All three makers will test their final constructs for Allen and Karn.
Two makers advance to round two to compete in the “Run-With-It” challenge where they have five full days to construct something that has never been created before by using the contents of another “mystery crate” as well as parts from their round one build.
Unbeknownst to the contestants is that Wilkerson covertly tricks up one of the parts, so it will require a surprise repair to prove they aren’t just builders and inventors but also fixers. The final two builds are shipped to Allen’s workshop in North Hollywood, where he and Karn test each creation based on three criteria — quality, design and functionality.
The winning maker receives $5,000.
“I developed this a long time ago,” Allen said last week at the virtual CTAM Television Critics Association Winter Press Tour. “And never would I consider Richard would be interested, for some reason. I see Richard socially. I never even thought about it and then one of my management team says, `Why don’t you ask Richard to host it with you?’
“The only hesitation was I didn’t want to embarrass myself by going, `Would you mind doing, a kind of, look at, fix it?’ And he jumped at the chance. And then all of a sudden, it became, the two of us, kind of a live version of `Tool Time,’ if you will. We’re very similar to the characters we play in that show.”
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