Fans and stars of the show are both confused as to why “Home Improvement is no longer available on paid streaming services. In fact, one of the stars of the hit ABC series took to Twitter Sunday afternoon to discuss her concern regarding the fact that Disney+ is not airing reruns of the show. Disney announced several other television projects on Monday. Under Wraps 2 and The Naughty Nine are two new original films being prepared for Disney Channel and Disney+.
Paola Santiago and the River of Tears is a Disney+ series by producer Eva Longoria, while an animated film Superfudge based on the book by Judy Blume is being prepared. Tiny Trailblazers is a Disney Junior comedy from Hello Sunshine by Reese Witherspoon. Disney also renewed Secrets of Sulphur Springs for the second season. While it's simply speculation, some sources have wondered if the lack of “Home Improvement on Disney+” is related to a lawsuit that was filed almost a decade ago.
If I had to guess, given that the lawsuit was because Disney was selling syndication rights to itself at a below-market price, the settlement probably says that any future right to syndicate or broadcast must be put up for tender, which means Disney+ has to prove that it could match or exceed supply highest on Netflix, Amazon, etc. Many of the show's cast members still have very active careers and series leader Nathan Fillion is even currently on Disney's roster as the star of ABC's The Rookie. Recovering classic series and movies for remakes or sequels is one of Disney's main strategies right now, with Disney+ set to follow up on series based on Willow, Lizzie McQuire, Turner %26 Hooch, The Mighty Ducks and many more. The rights are at stake, which means that there is no contractual reason with another streaming service why Disney would not bring the show to Disney+ or Hulu.
The most likely reason the show doesn't appear on Disney+ or Hulu is because of a lawsuit between Disney and the creators of “Home Improvement”. Whether you're interested in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the Star Wars saga, Pixar movies and series, Disney Channel comedies, the National Geographic collection, or original projects you can't find anywhere else, there's something for everyone. While the show can be found on other services such as Amazon Prime and Google Play, it hasn't even been released on Hulu (where Disney has placed many shows considered less suitable for Disney+). Disney doesn't usually announce when a specific title, or even a popular one, will arrive on Disney+.
Disney often makes announcements with the full schedule of releases for the following month in the middle of the current month. The Simpsons is arguably one of the most discussed acquisitions made by Disney in its purchase of 20th century Fox, rivaled by properties such as X-Men and the Alien franchise. At Disney+, these programs are incredibly specialized relative to others in the same category, and some may find that a program focused specifically on hunting is out of place with the Disney brand. However, due to multiple acquisitions by the company (including those as large as 20th Century Fox and its streaming service Hulu), there are now more properties under the Disney name.
Although it doesn't appear on Disney+, its inclusion would be a welcome addition to the platform's Star Wars catalog. A movie or home improvement special would fit perfectly into Disney+ and it would certainly be interesting to see how they could modernize “Tool Time”, such as a streaming program or even a YouTube channel.