PASADENA, Calif. – Get ready to trade more spaces and watch some home-renovation magic.
TLC’s first big hit, Trading Spaces, which created a cottage industry of home-renovation shows when it premiered in 2000, is returning April 7 after a decade off the air to a changed world.
Yes, neighbors still swap houses and have two days to renovate a room in each other’s homes before the big “reveal.” And familiar faces, including Ty Pennington, Vern Yip and Frank Bielec are back. But the budget has doubled, to $2,000, and homeowners feel more comfortable mixing things up.
Back then, “people wanted to emulate a very specific look,” like a Tuscan kitchen, Yip, one of several returning or new interior designers, carpenters and others on the new version of the show, told the Television Critics Association Friday. The series kicks off with a one-hour reunion special.
“Because we created that landscape, people are now interested in the physical manifestations of who they are, without worrying about what their neighbors have done,” he said. And they’re “much more educated about design,” through the explosion of shelter magazines and subsequent series such as ABC’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, in which Pennington starred.
"It's a fantastic format; you really get to understand who these people are who open their doors," Pennington said. "You bond so well with these people, and there's still a huge question mark about what the end is going to be. You just don't know what you're going to get."
Why bring Spaces back now?
Host Paige Davis says the appeal has endured: “It made interior design accessible to middle America, instead of the upper echelon of society,” she said. “The show has always been about being resourceful, creativity, doing the most for the least amount of money, being accessible. These are creative ideas (they) can do in their own home today.”
Added TLC chief Nancy Daniels: “There’s a big swell of nostalgia hitting the media,” and as a “cornerstone” of the network — and its first big hit — “it just felt like the right time,” as sibling Discovery Channel has also revived Cash Cab and American Chopper.
Carpenter Carter Oosterhouse also returns, and though he was "unavailable" to answer questions Friday, Daniels said she was "comfortable" with his continued participation in the series after an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct.