HGTV has snapped up the rights to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which ran on ABC from 2003 to 2012. It’s too soon to tell if host Ty Pennington and his distinct, very mid 2000s personal style will be returning.
Each installment of the show took a family fallen on hard times and totally renovated their house—very, very quickly. Habitat for Humanity but injected with the irradiated DNA of the era’s reality TV style. Deadline reported that HGTV is making 10 new episodes, due to appear in 2020, as well as acquiring rights to broadcast old episodes:
“This is a big win for HGTV and we can’t wait to put our stamp on it,” said Kathleen Finch, chief lifestyle brands officer, Discovery Inc., the parent company of HGTV. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was must-see viewing for years because it combined moving stories of families and communities with life-changing home renovations. It’s the type of program that taps into every emotion and it’s the reason it was so popular with everyone in America.”
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition was a cultural phenomenon in its heyday; at its most popular, during the 2004/05 season, an average of almost 16 million people watched every Sunday. Of course, home renovation shows were considerably more fun in the mid 2000s than after 2008, when the words “real estate” made everyone feel slightly queasy. But their popularity has once again soared, as evidenced by the success of shows like Fixer Upper and the Property Brothers. The Flip or Flop stars’ divorce was supermarket celebrity mag cover material!
Perhaps the most fascinating historical footnote is that Extreme Makeover: Home Edition outlived, by several years, the show that actually spawned it. Extreme Makeover ran from 2002 to 2007, in which participants were themselves gut renovated by a team of plastic surgeons and cosmetic dentists. Nor was it the only show of its kind during the era—see also The Swan, Bridalplasty, and of course The Biggest Loser. America’s obsession with individual self-reinvention continues to thrive, but the ways it can acceptably manifest are perpetually in flux.