Whenever I write about HGTV, readers ask some of the same questions. For instance: “Why do they air shows like Love It or List It in constant rotation?” And another big one: “Is Property Brothers as scripted and fake as House Hunters?”
So I thought today I’d take a minute to try to answer them. Although I’m not sure you’ll like what I found!
Why Has HGTV Turned Into “Real Estate TV”?
When I wrote about HGTV’s upcoming schedule, it generated lots of comments from readers who said they’re fed up with all the real estate and renovation shows and miss the more straightforward decorating and gardening series from days of old. This comment from a reader named Linda sums a lot of them up:
“I’d really like to know how many viewers they have lost since the have changed to real estate tv. It was once a very talked about channel, everything was learned on HGTV from Matt & Sherry, Kitty, and shows like Decorating Cents, or Design on a Dime. I’d really like to know what the heck are the board thinking. They prefer losing money. LISTEN TO YOUR VIEWERS!!! or you’ll lose them all!”
HGTV’s Steve Lerner says they’re getting big ratings for those shows:
“We’ve found that our viewers’ appetite for real estate and renovation programming is virtually insatiable.”
For those of you who are wondering why there are a million episodes of shows like House Hunters on the air each week, Lerner (who is the Senior VP of Programming) explains:
“While we have a number of strong new performers on our programming slate including Beachfront Bargain Hunt, many of our viewer favorite programs helped HGTV attract more viewers than ever in 2013.
“With the continued success of the House Hunters franchise, Love It or List It and Property Brothers, viewers seem to never tire of real estate, renovation and peeking inside other peoples’ homes.”
In other words, they keep airing those shows because people keep watching them.
I know they must get a lot of viewers because every time one of those shows airs, I get a surge of traffic to posts I’ve written about them, such as:
- Is Love It or List It Fake?
- The Truth About House Hunters
- What Happened to Sandra Rinomato on Property Virgins?
Here’s a chart that HGTV created for prospective ad buyers that shows the top-rated shows and how they rank:
As a side note: I have to laugh because a lot of media outlets predicted the end of House Hunters after my post about how they produce that show went viral in 2012, but it’s doing just fine. And the news that Love It or List It is pretty fake, too, apparently hasn’t hurt it, either. People are still watching those shows anyway.
One of the other questions I get asked a lot:
“Is Property Brothers fake, too?”
Toronto Life ran an article recently that looked into Property Brothers and concluded that it’s scripted as much as the other shows are. Emily Landau reported:
A couple I know were looking to buy a home and contacted the show to see if they could appear. “Not to burst your bubble,” the casting researcher cheerily replied, “but we very rarely have couples or families on the show who haven’t bought a house already.”
She then sent them a casting packet that read, “Our onscreen Realtor, Drew, will present the houses to you, but, off-screen, your Realtor is the one who completes your deal. We need to state that we will only feature people who have purchased a property.”
Though the brothers would have you believe that they’re doing the work, Jonathan, the long-haired contractor, barely touches the renovation. The heavy lifting is done by the show’s less telegenic construction crew, but he’ll dutifully wear his tool belt and plaid shirt in solidarity.
Which pretty much matches the stories I’ve heard about it over the years. That’s the way most of these types of shows are produced because it keeps production time and costs down.
Here’s a press release I recently got about Property Brothers and other shows we already see a lot of:
HGTV PREMIERES NEW EPISODES OF NINE SERIES
More international house hunts, fantasy homes tours and dream makeovers are on the way as HGTV offers new episodes of nine popular series, including House Hunters, House Hunters International, House Hunters Renovation, Property Virgins (Egypt Sherrod), You Live In What?, Love It or List It (Hilary Farr and David Visentin), Extreme Homes, Property Brothers (Drew Scott and Jonathan Scott), and Renovation Raiders (Amy Matthews). The new episodes will premiere January-March 2014.
That’s right. Even more of those shows are headed our way! Will you be watching any of them? Or are you missing the “good old days” of straightforward decorating and gardening shows on HGTV?
My brother in laws house was on love it or list it. I think they were paid $100 to have it filmed for the show. It wasn’t even an option for the house hunter, just an interesting house to feature.
I have recently discovered tw British shows. Restoration Home which shows restorations of amazing historically significant houses and Grand Design that features barn conversions, old mill houses and a slew of other amazing builds. Restoration house is available online and Grand Design is on You tube…..hundreds of episodes (13 seasons) I am truly addicted.
Interesting! I didn’t know they got paid for using their house on that show.
I haven’t seen “Restoration Home.” I’ll have to look for that — thanks, Chania!
Restoration home is awesome and my Deralick Home is good
I heart Kevin McCloud.
[email protected] Than the Mulberries says
Thanks for posting this! I’ve had fun watching this show on you tube last night! I just love that they find out the history on these amazing buildings!
how is property virgins with egypt sherrod scripted?
so does she even have a real estate license?
bc she is a radio DJ in atlanta! she used to be a DJ in NY.
I believe it’s similar to the other shows. She’s more of a host than an actual real estate agent working for the home buyers. I think I read somewhere that she did get a real estate license to do the show, though, since she was a DJ before, but I can’t remember for sure.
If anyone has any info about “Property Virgins,” fill us in!
I used to watch HGTV ALL the time. My husband used to tease me about that being the only thing I watched. That was years ago, though. I loved watching the true design shows that Kitty Bartholomew and Joe Ruggiero had. There were many others too that I enjoyed. The only thing I watch now is the Dream Home episode that comes on in Jan. I find all these real estate shows boring and way too scripted. I miss the old HGTV!
I’m with you. My favorite was Star Gardens. Loved seeing how the stars were really just normal people behind their persona. I never watch HGTV anymore. That and The Food Network are just numbers games anymore. No content. Just mindless time killers.
At Rivercrest Cottage says
When I saw the post title, I said “oh yeah, HGTV. Is that still a channel?” I haven’t watched any of their shows in years.
What’s sad is that my mother and I never missed an episode of Kitty or any of their shows showing people’s homes. Why can’t they do a show about Blogger’s homes or businesses? I would be glued to I as a lot of others would I think!
That would be fun. I used to enjoy seeing bloggers’ houses on the Nate Berkus Show!
Have to admit it: I’m one of the viewers who keeps tuning into House Hunters and House Hunters International. I know about the “one of the houses is already in escrow for the featured buyers,” but I just watch them to look at different homes styles and locales.
As for the others, I could care less. None of them holds any appeal, except maybe Income Property. I do like to see the before and afters on that one, because they usually start off with an empty shell (ie basement, attic, etc.)
One of the problems I have with the others are the hosts themselves. I find most of them pretty annoying.
I do, too, Dean. I can get sucked into looking at houses on the “House Hunters” shows any time they’re on. And I like seeing the “before and afters” on shows like “Love It or List It.”
I guess I’m in the camp that loves shows on HGTV – I like the real estate/reno projects and I hated the cheap nickle & dime design shows. Also, I read your article back about House Hunters and how fake the whole thing is… didn’t deter me though from applying to being on it, and then actually doing it. I can vouch for the fact that the whole thing is fake, that they will only cast people where they can get make drama, and that at times we were basically told what to say, how to say it, and with the right tone of voice (my husband really hated that). For our episode, it was probably the most controversial of the year… and it was all due to the director. But even with a less-then-desirable outcome, I still watch every night.
Interesting! I love hearing behind-the-scenes stories from people who experienced the shows first-hand. Thanks, Bethany.
eileen pelletier says
Love the nickel and dime shows, believe it or not that’s what many of us Americans can afford, scratch the bickering show hosts and all the people who look down on pop corn ceilings, we have homes we can afford.
I used to love watching HGTV. I now watch somewhat sporadically. If there is nothing better to watch, I’ll tune in and sometimes catch an episode of House Hunters and House Hunters International. Property Brothers formula got old pretty quickly for me. Someone wants to purchase a home, Drew shows them a home way out of their price range, then he shows them some pretty awful homes, Jonathan steps in and tells the buyer what can be done with each of the houses …they purchase one, problems with the house show up during renovation (Big surprise…NOT! Didn’t the buyer have an inspection done?) Part of the house gets renovated, usually there is not enough cash to do what was promised, because of the problems that showed up during renovation. That’s about it in a nutshell. BORING! Also these people have a couple of really nice rooms in the house after renovations…but what about the rest of the house??? So, the rest of the house still looks like crap and the new owner has no more cash to do those rooms??? Um, NO THANKS!
Love It Or List It got pretty boring for me too.
I can see everything I want to about the Dream Home on hgtv.com
I would like to see more shows like the ones with Sarah Richardson, Candice Olson and Bob & Cortney Novogratz again!
I agree. I miss those “real designer” shows and would love to see more of Sarah and Candice. They always inspire me.
YES! to Candice Olson–She’s a phenomenal designer.
Susan M says
yes! I love Sarah Richardson and Candice Olson!
I have read that the entire house is generally renovated, but due to time they only focus on a few rooms on the show.
I don’t watch HGTV anymore either. Please bring back the design shows! It’s like MTV and the History Channel – no more music videos or history programming, just reality tv. Frustrating!
Alie B says
Yes, I admit that the “drama” on these home reno shows can be a bit much. To me though, seeing the before and after is worth tuning in. The great thing, as a busy parent, is that you can miss much of the episode and just tune in at the vital bits. I watch these programs for the design ideas, not for the laughably fake “I can’t take any more of this! I’m walking away before I say something regretful!” moments. I can empathize with viewers who are fed up. I feel that way about Come Dine with Me and Undercover Boss. It makes me a bit ill when I channel surf and see multiple episodes in a row of this drivel.
Rhonda K says
Julia, I, too, have been very disappointed with the HGTV schedule. What once was my favorite channel, now gets passed by when surfing channels. I used to look forward to Saturdays when I could get my “fix” of Candace Olsen or Sarah Richardson and be inspired.
I will watch House Hunters International if it’s an interesting location, mostly for the scenery shots. I tell my husband it’s how I travel without leaving our house.
I miss Curb Appeal – that was one of my favorite shows.
Yeah, what happened to that show? I liked Curb Appeal.
Sadly, Bill Beckwith, who co-hosted the HGTV show “Curb Appeal” recently passed away due to a motorcycle accident.
Here’s the local story in the newspaper: https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/S-F-crash-kills-co-host-of-HGTV-s-Curb-Appeal-5031031.php
I’m so sorry to hear that! Such a young guy, too. Tragic.
tara dillard says
Before HGTV existed my clients were vague in what they asked for when they hired me. The first few years of HGTV my clients asked for specific things with intelligence (love). With the passage of time clients are again vague in what they ask for.
I do construction, renovation & landscapes.
Do I blame HGTV for what they are doing? No, they are chasing their money.
Perhaps a disgruntled viewer will create a TV show HGTV will love and can afford to run. It’s a 2 way street.
Interesting commentary on society, staged reality shows, yes?
Garden & Be Well, XO Tara
Cheryl in Wisconsin says
I recently upgraded my cable package to include DIY, it provides some programs I watch. Nicole Curtis is remarkable, although I’m afraid to say I enjoy her show – I don’t want to put a target on her back. I have not tuned in to HGTV in over a year, it’s a non-entity for me. Evidently there is a demographic of those who watch the new HGTV. I don’t know any of them.
I like Nicole, too. I think she’s amazing. And so passionate about restoring old houses!
Good for you, I am following your lead. The people who schedule the HGTV shows are super lazy & should all be canned. Consider it done at my house.
Remember when HGTV would countdown to the first day of Spring? The ad would have the number of days sprawled across the screen with a voice over saying, “Wait for it . . . ”
I love the house hunting shows from the UK. Kirstie and Phil are great. Location, Location, Location is very entertaining and informative. Escape to the Country is good as well. Although I live in the area, I find the home shows from Toronto kind of cheesy. What ever happened to Jason and Alistair, two Scottish lads who came to TO a few years back to host a decorating program?
Wish I could see the UK versions!
I love all the British real estate shows. And you know you’re in for a good time when the buyers on Escape to the Country are spending around a million pounds. Grand Designs is my favourite, though, because of the architecture aspect.
Candice…..I hope with your comment saying that “home shows” from Toronto are “kind of cheesy” you are not referring to the broadcasts featuring Sarah Richardson, (Tommy Smythe), Candice Olsen, and Scott McGillivray (Income Property) since they are all Canadian shows originating from Toronto.
No, I consider them decorating shows. The cheesy shows are with that Sandra woman and others whom I cannot recall because it has been so long since I watched them. Sarah, Tommy and Candice are good, I agree. We watch TV now solely on demand through a VPN.
I actually cancelled cable because I only had it to watch HGTV and got so sick of the scripted real estate shows. You can see they are all fake. I used to watch them just to watch SOMETHING but, lordy, one more episode of house hunters was going to make me chew my own arm off. So I cancelled it and I watch design shows on Ulive on my computer now instead. Not to mention the wonderful resource of following blogs who are doing real design work anyway. Who are all of these people who watch these shows so much?? I just don’t understand how their ratings are doing better. Oh well, each to his own I guess!
I don’t know. Even though the majority of comments I get about HGTV are negative, I keep hearing how they have more viewers than ever and are blowing other cable stations out of the water. Maybe most of their viewers just don’t read my blog? Or at least aren’t commenting on it. 🙂
I know they are scripted but I watch them all. I refer to it as real estate porn 🙂
It’s just that you only hear from the people who don’t like it. 😉 People are much more likely to voice a negative opinion, I think. And while I enjoy some of the real estate shows, I really miss the design shows. I don’t know why they can’t have more of a mix. The pendulum will probably swing the other way eventually.
You’re probably right, Cindy! 🙂 And it would be nice to have more of a mix.
I love Property Brothers and Love It or List It. I don’t care how fake they are. I love to see different floor plans, the before and after shots & the process it can be to get there. It gives me ideas for my own space & I find them very entertaining. It’s just really hard when there is such negativity to voice the more positive. To all those who don’t understand why we like these shows – I don’t get why you like the boring design shows. We may never understand each other, maybe we should keep a more open & less critical mind.
The only show I’ll watch on HGTV is House Hunters International, particularly for the ones in the UK and Europe. Of course the buyers seldom pick the house I would have, usually because of money. (I have to pretend that money is no object.) And I can’t help but get irritated at my fellow Americans for expecting our level of conveniences and amenities in an old European setting, and so feel let down when they choose the bland new place with the mod-cons like at home. Sigh. Thanks, Chania, for the show recommendations. I’ll look for them. They sound like something I’d love.
I like the international episodes that are in the UK and Canada and sometimes parts of Europe. I actually get bored with the tropical type locations. ha
I’m one of the viewers they lost. My sister has stopped watching too. In fact, the only one I know who still watches is my Mom, who could (and does) what the same program 100 times.
If the ‘real estate channel’ is so lucrative, why don’t they spin off a new network (like the Cooking Channel did) and give us back our DIY and improvements? DIY blogs and Pinterest should prove that there are tons of people that are seeking such!!
They should! I know a lot of us would watch it if they did. 🙂
Good for you, I am following your lead. The people who schedule the HGTV shows are super lazy & should all be canned. Consider it done at my house.
Amen, Teri! HGTV should hire you!
Shelley @ Calypso in the Country says
I barely watch HGTV anymore because of that…I don’t need to see all that drama – I want decorating! I guess that’s why blogs have become so popular – so I guess we can say thank you HGTV!
Good point! Ha. 🙂
I think we should tell the sponsors we won’t support them if they don’t bring back some good shows. I can’t stand HGTV any more. I’m so sick of Love it or List it and the Property Brothers. Those are the only shows on now.
Cyndi L says
Hate, hate, HATE the new shows that are on HGTV. I used to watch all the time, but rarely watch anymore because it’s boring. Bring back the thirty minute shows that we all loved and I’d be back in a heartbeat!
it’s called HGTV for Home and Garden TV…where are the homes? where are the gardens? not the ones they’re showing now…bring back the old format and your ratings would go out the roof! I used to be an avid HGTV watcher…set my recorder to record shows and I’d catch up at night after work and watched for hours on the weekends. Now I bypass the channel…nothing interesting at all. I mean, how many House Hunters can any one person take??? Please bring back the “old” HGTV!
I think the Home and Garden part of HGTV went the same way as the LEARNING Channel part of TLC. Gone and never to return.
AMEN! I no longer watch HGTV. I am an avid gardener and landscaper and would love a show that teaches viewers about plant types and what works best in different settings to improve the value of their home. I want to hear from real designers (Candace, Sarah), not ‘hosts’ who have no credentials other than the fact that they look good on camera. Sarah has her own site and I follow her directly.
I now watch Create Channel from PBS for more interesting shows. HGTV has moved on to licensed goods (cookware, furniture, paint, etc) to make their money. programming is now a side business.
Ditto, ditto, ditto to all the negative comments above.
Remember the show Gardener’s Diary?
Some gal in flowing linen clothes + a straw hat would tour someone’s garden with the proud homeowner, while I sat mesmerized.
My bf used to tease + ask if she was on Quayludes because she was so laid-back.
Hey, my motto is: Bring back laid back!
I can’t stand the yelling hosts (Yard Crashers) or the unnecessary loud music.
Has anyone been watching This Old House on PBS this season?
They’re re-doing an Italianate house in suburban Boston, + it’s wicked awesome!
I haven’t been following “This Old House” this season. I need to check it out. Thanks, Kay!
OMG, The Gardener’s Diary! The hostess of that show was really great! I always wondered if she had a small bit of pot growing in her own kitchen garden because she was soooo calm, but I guess gardening can be a rather zen-like activity! It was SO relaxing watching her, and I learned quite a bit about plants, even though I kill everything I touch and have never really gardened. And This Old House was also such a great show, I loved the segments with Norm the carpenter, and was always in awe of his creations and talent.
My cousin, Kevin, is the host of This Old House. If you have never read the story of how he went from white collar office guy to denim shirted host you should check it out! He’s the real deal, learned it all as he went, and that is what HGTV is lacking now – there’s no authenticity!!!
Aww. I have a bit of a crush on him. 🙂
I agree with you, Kay, I loved Gardener’s Diary and all those other wonderful decorating and gardening shows of the HGTV past. Hate everything they are putting out now. It’s nonsense.
I watch HH and HHI because I’m an interior design JUNKIE/voyeur. I love seeing inside of homes/backyards, to see what’s been done. Period. I knew they were scripted from Day One…and I don’t care. I don’t bother to watch Love It or List It because too few ever get listed. There is a new show-can’t recall the name-with a slightly overweight, older Southern woman and a younger guy, and I couldn’t make even 10 minutes into the first episode because she annoyed me so much. The worst part is on LIOLI…how purposely junked up they ALWAYS make the owners current home in the ‘before.’ Dishes piled sky high, clothes piled on the floor, etc. SO OBVIOUS.
But I love HH and HHI. I DO wish we had Candace Olsen back, but I didn’t much care for her “Lessons” series…I liked the original one where she mostly renovated homes, particularly basements.
oh, and I hate the DIY shows/network.
It is kind of over the top how they junk up the houses for the “before” shots, isn’t it? Always makes me laugh a little.
And I agree about Candice — I liked her original show best!
I miss Divine Design but it might have something to do with carpenter Paul Daly being gone from the show and my lady crush I had on him! Plus, what about Chico, Andrew and Edmond?
I loved Michael Payne’s Designing for the Sexes and Designed to Sell with Lisa LaPorta (and Clivey, as she called him). I love that they are actual designers. Emily Henderson’s show was great and Cash and Cari was fun.
Whatever happened to Michael Payne? I used to watch his show faithfully!
I watch HGTV a lot, and have for years and years. I too agree they need to bring back more “decorating” and “DIY” things that most homeowners can do! I used to love those old shows. I do NOT watch reruns, I switch the channel. I understand that some may need to be “scripted” ….I still enjoy them but it has become overwhelmed with real estate. Yes Island Hunters is nice once on a while but 99.99% of us don’t have $23 million to buy an island …hello “reality”…which is why my husband and I won’t watch Love It Or List It ….WAY too much, Hillary is usually given a pretty good budget and I know there’s always the “unexpected” problem but geesh ..and she always runs out of money …”sorry can’t do your kitchen after all” …maybe she could do a kitchen on a $20,000 makeover budget instead of $60,000??, then she could afford to do more elsewhere! Speaking of that, Property Brothers, gives you maybe 2-3 beautiful rooms at the end but the rest of the house still looks like CRAP! I miss the “old” shows, bring back Candace, Sarah and I’d LOVE to see HGTV have something with Nate Berkus!
Surely the 1%’s of the US don’t watch home improvement especially a show where the hosts do nothing but argue, rude and sarcastic to each other and the home owners. The 1%’s have a staff that might waste their time watching it.
Regarding the budget and Hillary. She should just tell them up front the budget given is not at all realistic. Given that what ever work they do it has to meet current code. Any house, especially older ones do not meet current building codes. If the home owners are that ignorant, they get what they deserve.
I don’t like HGTV at all anymore, either. Really don’t need to hear another person say, “his will HAVE to be gutted”, “open concept”, “granite countertops”, etc.etc. I’ll tell you when I do watch HGTV – for the last 2-3 minutes. When the better show on another network that you’re watching ends and goes to commercial, you can switch over and see the recap of all the properties they’ve seen (or the “before” if it’s not HH or HHI), the one they picked, and what it looks like after! Avoid all the inane banter and see the good stuff. I guess the above plan doesn’t make sense for those with DVRs,but for those of us who reside in the dark ages and like to toggle during commercials, it works beautifully. By the way, if it’s Rehab Addict I’m watching the whole show. Love her.
I agree Laura! It’s like they need to take a sledgehammer to everything now. I recall a recent House Hunters Renovation I turned off because the two women who bought the house started tearing out the kitchen with the giant hammer including the granite countertops!! I couldn’t believe it! Who destroys granite countertops? Doesn’t EVERYBODY on House Hunters want them?
Everytime I see them busting stuff up I think about all the things that could be going to Habitat for Humanity for reuse, keeping it out of the landfills.
I can barely watch most of these shows anymore. 🙁
They busted up the granite? Oh, my. They could have sold or reused it, surely!
I have to say that I am one of the people who love real estate and renovation shows. I wouldn’t tend to get ideas that I would actually use from decorating shows, I don’t think. I use blogs and magazines for those types of ideas.
But I love looking at houses in real life, and since we have already bought a house I don’t get to do that in “real life” anymore. ha House Hunters, etc. allows me to continue this “hobby”. 😉
You sound like me, Jessica. I never get tired of shopping for houses (vicariously, anyway), even though we have no intention of moving for a while! Ha.
The only reasons why I will watch some of the HGTV shows:
1. Nothing better to watch
2. A city, state or country interests me…you know, the places we “think” we’d like to pack up and move to 😉 Although, sometimes the scripting can be a little too much for my taste and I have to turn it off.
I bet Home Depot & Lowe’s loves HGTV. Makes some homeowner’s think they can do it themselves or at the very least, makes certain projects look easy when in reality they’re not.
I still watch HH and HHI because I love looking at homes! I do agree that the channel needs more variety. I don’t understand why they show one show ALL day. Love it or List it would be fun to watch once a week, but 5 in one evening? No thanks! Give me some Sarah and Candace!
I agree with so many others on this subject. I used to watch HGTV all the time and loved it but they just lost me with all the real estate shows. My favorite today is Rehab Addict, it’s the only design show I watch now, I just love Nicole. What they should do is create a show that is based off of Pinterest or bring in more bloggers to show their designs and ideas. People we can connect with. I can’t connect with people buying homes in Hawaii but there must be a lot who do. I love reading the blogs of people who turn junk into treasures, etc. so I can honestly say I’d watch a TV show about it and I don’t think I’m alone based on teh growth of pinterest and blogging over the years. I no longer watch HGTV for design ideas, I turn to bloggers and Pinterest. I am amazed that they have such high ratings, but I wonder where they get their numbers. However, I know some people that watch Love it or List it and enjoy it so I suppose there is an audience out there. Thanks for sharing and helping us remember the good old days of HGTV.
I don’t watch HGTV anymore because all of how to shows are gone. I’ve set the DVR to record the Sarah Richardson shows so I just wait until something shows up. And even then, I tend to watch the first few minutes to see the problem and then fast forward to see the finished results. I am going back to PBS and the This Old House shows to get better information.
I, too, use to watch HGTV all the time years ago. Hubby teased me about it. I don’t watch it much anymore. I hate “Love it or Like it” (can’t stand the hosts or the set up of the show) and even though I love looking at homes I do get tired of “House Hunters” on all the time. I like to watch anything with Sarah Richardson or Candace Olson. They are the best designers! And I like “Income Property” because of handsome host Scott McGillivray and “Curb Appeal” and “Curb Appeal Block” for that dreamy host, John Gidding. They both have so much “appeal” and are excellent at what they do. I do REALLY miss the good old design and “how to do it” shows with Matt and Shari (Room by Room), Kitty Bartholomew, Joan Steffend (Decorating Cents), Lisa LaPorta and Clive Pearse “Designed to Sell” and Michael Payne “Designing for the Sexes”. And why HGTV didn’t follow through with a design program with Kevin and Layla of “The Lettered Cottage” is beyond belief. They are adorable. And why not highlight the great design bloggers. You, for one, hosting a show would be a program I would love to watch. “Hooked on Homes” – my… that would be a great TV program with you as the star! Thanks for another great posting!
Aren’t you nice? 🙂 I’m not sure how good I’d be in front of a camera, but I could totally see Layla and Kevin doing a decorating show. I was as shocked as you were that theirs wasn’t picked up.
I too miss Michael Payne’s Designing for the Sexes, I also miss Groundbreakers with Joe Washington, Designers Challenge, and Landscapers Challenge. So many great shows just thrown away. It is so sad. I wish they would bring back the old HGTV!
I haven’t watched HGTV in years — it’s all HH all the time: yuck. All the same kind of track houses/price points and “t does/doesn’t have stainless/granite/hardwood(s)” all the time…the end. **head desk**
I too loved the decorating and design shows, not so much the redo your house on $5 bucks shows, but the real ones like Candice, Sarah, and Designing for the Sexes and the gardening shows – I’d like to see a show that does front yard food gardening or incorporating food into your landscaping.
To go back further, I loved Christopher Lowell’s show on the Discovery Channel before HGTV.
The only thing I watch is the Dream Home and it was so disappointing this year to have two guys host that seemed more interested in saying things like “that’s so awesome!” over things like a big screen tv and “those appliances are so cool” (but then not talk about them) vs. giving actual details of the home. I could care less about how much air time was devoted to things like a zipline adventure vs the house details. Sorry, but the all male “dude. let’s par-tay” approach was off putting. Loved the house…wished I’d heard more about it.
Yeah, I was surprised Monica Pedersen or someone like that didn’t host the “Dream Home” show again. I wonder if she’s no longer with the channel? I always liked her.
I still like to watch HGTV because of the Creative Design but I definitely have a different perspective than I used too. The Dream Homes which I love to watch each year are all about advertising money. My husband was involved in a Dream Home and it was interesting to find out that the winners never actually move into the house. Maybe one has in all the years but anyways they just sell it back to the builder and take the cash. The home reveal for the winner is all staged because by the time they go see the home that they won they have already sold it back to the builder. Nevertheless, it’s still fun to watch.
Interesting to hear that the home reveal is staged after they sold the house back already!
Well, I call this channel the “non-violent” channel and watch it as an alternative to all of the crime/detective shoot-em-ups. However, I don’t like the bickering on Love It. Some of those people need marriage counseling! Sarah Richardson and Tommy are my favorites. I could watch their shows all day.
I like that — the “non-violent channel.” One thing I do appreciate is that I can watch the shows with my daughter and it’s family friendly.
Like so many others, I have lost interest in HGTV and their commitment to real estate shows. My family used to tease me about how often I watched HGTV. Saturday night design shows were my time to watch tv in my room and my boys knew that was “Mom’s tv night”. HGTV even screwed up Rose Parade coverage, with each year worse than the last. It used to be the only parade coverage that showed the floats and talked about the flowers and didn’t promote some tv show about vampires or zombies. How about a new network (or a sister network) that goes back to the formula that we enjoyed. They can continue with real estate shows and have a separate network for design. I’m not such a big fan of Rehab Addict; she scares me (she seems like my way or the highway). Surely there are plenty of talented designers out there who are telegenic and able to give us ideas and lovely homes to admire.
And remember Christopher Lowell? He was amazing! He could make valances out of cardboard. Now, that’s something I can afford!
Yes, I remember watching him years ago. He was so entertaining. I liked that he tried to teach design principles to his viewers in a way everyone could understand.
I love his “7 layers of design” approach, I even got his book and still refer to it. The videos are out there on the web, if you search for them.
Wish they’d bring him to HGTV – he was so inventive.
Just sitting here enjoying the comments and daydreaming a little. This might sound pretty far out, but wouldn’t it be a blast to have an inter-active decorating show? Picture it: they give you a choice of five or six homes and through your remote (in some magical way) you choose a house. Then you choose a room to decorate…colors…appliances…furniture stores and flea markets to shop in, etc., ad you get to put it all together. (Remember those choose your own adventure books?) I mean, if they can do all the crazy stuff they do in video games, why not something like this? They could even have challenges or contests along theme lines, like the best in Shabby Chic, or the best mid-century modern. Am I crazy? Did I have too much coffee today? I know there are decorating apps, but they leave me like meh…
nifty idea! you can achieve it through the magic of a deal with the various cable companies. ny1 in new york city is a 24 hour local news channel that holds “snap polls.” they pose a question and you vote with your cable remote: button a, b, or c. it would probably be logistically simpler to handle this idea online, though.
I miss the OLD HGTV too. My husband and I were just talking about this!
Lisa S says
I am absolutely sick of the HGTV line up! I never watch HGTV anymore. I miss the original premise of it being about ‘house’ and ‘garden'”………decorating tips, gardening tips, design shows, decorating on a budget, flea market decorating. Things to learn, to adapt to our own lives. Why did they even have the Design Star competition – you never see the so called shows the winner supposedly gets.
I don’t care what they say about viewership being up – if they went back to DESIGN shows that actually provide the viewers with new ideas it would show that is what most really want. Why did they have to fix what, to me and many like me, felt wasn’t broken?
I love the Canadian House and decorating shows- they are much more interesting and better quality than HGTV shows,
Peggy from pa says
Have you ever thought about putting a poll on your blog to see how your readers feel? Then you could send it to HGTV and maybe we could get some decorating programs back. I neve pr watch HGTv anymore. I miss those wonderful decorating shows.
I am so done with HGTV! I haven’t watched it regularly for years, but every once in a while, I would check in to see if they had changed back to original & creative programming. I have been so disappointed 🙁 I miss the originality and creativity!
Enjoyed reading all the comments about HGTV. I am in the camp of missing the old format. It seems to me there was room for all types of shows, which would include real estate, decorating, gardening. Now it is one dimensional and boring. Even though I always enjoyed House Hunters, I don’t even tune in for that anymore. I honestly cannot remember the last time I put the station on. I feel the same way about the Food Network. I have been telling my husband for months I am more than ready to down grade to a more basic cable, with the cost it hardly seems worth keeping at all. I am happy I decided to get on the grid with my little IPad, so I can enjoy blogs such as this to satisfy my interests!
I miss the decorating shows. What also gets me is now when they do have a new decorating show it’s at 5:30 a.m. Thank God for recording. I also watch house hunters international for the European homes even though it is entirely fake. It’s so obvious. They could just make a more well rounded network and have a little bit of everything. I loved Decorating Cents(loved the host), Love David, Love Emily, etc. etc. Miss their shows. Loved Saturday night and HGTV. Now I hardly watch. Channel should be called RETV — real estate TV.
Love it or List It is so bad it’s not even fun to laugh at it. Every home looks like something on Hoarders, Hilary can never deliver what the “client” wants (“I couldn’t give you that desperately needed 2nd bathroom but look how good your laundry room looks!”) and the realtor (David?) bugs me with his “I know your large family requires 4 bedrooms but *I* think this 2 bedroom bungalow that is $25K over your budget is PERFECT!”
I used to pretty much keep the TV set to HGTV but these days I’d rather watch reruns of “Bones” on TNT than what HGTV gives us.
I still watch HGTV all the time. However, I usually have the sound turned way down or off because I can barely tolerate the hosts, and most especially the Love It or List It hosts shown above. But I do still love looking at houses, which is why HGTV is on right now and I look at Hooked on Houses every day along with a few other house blogs. Thanks for this one!
Thanks for visiting my blog every day, Vicki! I appreciate that. 🙂
I miss Designing For the Sexes!
Summer Home & Lara Spencer’s Flea Market Flip each aired a few episodes, but haven’t seen them aired lately.
It is not the content that has me so turned off…it is the lazy programming method…just airing giant blocks of back-to-back episodes of the same series.
I really wish HGTV would mix it up and give us some variety!!
Esther George says
Hi Julia we don’t get these shows here (only on pay tv) but we do get 1 or 2 locals through the year it has become a love hate thing. I think I must be showing my age I just want them to get on with the Reno and stop with the Drama and trying to be funny (a bit of sophistication please) and throw in some dignity and style. I know you will love the British show Restoration Home there is an episode where a young couple take on a Church restoration the husband does an amazing job, you also get to know the history of the buildings and BONUS they work with real timber (not the hated MDF). I think I deserve another cup of coffee after all this. . Take care and stay warm,Regards Esther from Sydney.
I really like real estate, but I’m turning off HGTV more and more now. You can only hear “hardwood floors,” “stainless steel appliances,” “granite countertops,” or “open concept” so many times without wanting to throw something at the TV. I’m sure someone has made a drinking game out of it!
The only show I really like anymore is Rehab Addict. I also used to like Flea Market Flip, but they’re not showing that much anymore. I also keep looking for the shows of these designers from Design Star (or whatever it’s called now), but they must put them on at 2 am with the infomercials since I never seem to be able to find them.
Beth B. says
This is a sore subject with a lot of people. I recently did a post about this on my FB page and got a lot of response from people, all of whom are tired of “real estate tv”, formerly known as HGTV. I am a decorator and NEVER watch, with the exception of the HGTV dream home episode on January 1. It is so disappointing that they have done away with good every day decorating shows. For a channel that should share creative and inspiring programs, they are neither creative OR inspiring! UGH.
After reading all the comments it seems we all wish HGTV would revert back to their old formula. I still enjoy House Hunters and watch the European episodes of HHI just to feel glad I live in the USA where we have more space ,several bathrooms and the walls are not crumbling. I was glad to know you find the tropical locations of HH boring….I do too !!! Your blog is so much fun and fills the void left by HGTV.
I agree with many of the comments. I miss the old HGTV. I used to be glued to the channel..now not so much. I don’t want to see a perfectly fine home redesigned. I want to see a “normal” home that has issues that can be fixed on a budget that most people could handle. I can do without the scripted drama. That’s why I’m turning to pinterest for ideas. And I’m talking HOUSE and GARDEN. It’s not that I won’t watch HGTV, but there are so many reruns that it’s not worth even checking the evening lineup most evenings. And WAY TOO MUCH House Hunters!
I watch HGTV for all the hot guys.
Amanda Shaub says
Susan M says
I actually love Love it or List it, even though it’s fake. I also like Rehab Addict. I do miss some of the early HGTV shows, but I have to say, the last couple of seasons of Decorating Cents was not good at all. I miss some of shows that Jon Gidding and Vern Yip did, but I like House Hunters Renovation and House Hunters Where are they now. I know I will still enjoy watching HGTV…it evolves…
I do miss the old shows with Kitty B and decorating cents…….I miss them so much. My new favorite is beachfront bargain hunt……I don’t care if it is scripted….I love seeing all those beach homes!
I hardly watch anything on HGTV any more. I watch a few DIY Network shows. It’s funny that some of the other networks, like Nat Geo, are doing building shows now, too. Nat Geo has Building Wild (with Paulie DiMeo from the old Extreme Makeover: Home Edition). NBC has been running ads for their new extreme building show during the Olympics (American Dream Builders).
What I really miss, even more than the home improvement/design shows, is Gardening by the Yard. As popular as home gardens are right now, I’d think there would be money in airing a new gardening show.
A garden show that teaches. Gardening by the yard, victory garden and loved Gardener’s Diary ad Gardener’s journal. Garden’s we can actually do. I don’t want a pizza oven, 3 patios, outside kitchen that costs $1000’s of dollars. I want to see other real people gardens. learn how to grow veggies, have a nice flower border.
I watch House Hunters only so I can see what the house looks like after they moved in. Usually it is decorated like most of us would decorate after spending most of our money on buying the house.
i’d sum up my dissatisfaction with hgtv like this: lack of creativity. the variety of shows, designers, concepts was a very creative environment. you could pop in any time and find something different. they’re weekend line up was a blast. high end decorating on a budget, down ‘n dirty temporary apartment fixes, sophisticated tech heavy urban design, handicrafts, recycled/thrifted decorating. so much variety. so many points of view. now it’s the same handful of people, with the same limited range of styles that they typically deploy.
why aren’t those “design star” winners still on the air? why no david bromstad? no emily henderson? that girl in chicago? kim myles? if the winners are tired of shooting, give the runners up a show. they were good too! they cancelled shows i wasn’t tired of watching. and we don’t see those designers’ styles represented on the network anymore. frankly, someone should be trying to fill this void for goodness sake. remember when thom fillicia had “dress my nest” on style network? awesome show! oprah needs to get on this.
Yes! Loved David Bromstad! Emily Henderson! Where’s Vern Yip? Genevieve? What happened to ‘Designed to Sell?’
I used to love that show that was filmed in Vancouver, B.C. “The Stagers” I think it was called. Or “The Property Shop” from Montreal. Loved that show with the blonde mother/daughter team who staged & sold real estate from L.A. Or the show with the female contractor in Boston! Even ‘Spice up your Kitchen!’
Miss the VARIETY!! I always enjoyed HH and Property Virgins, but they really were better with their old hosts. Just don’t understand why they run one show all night long marathon-style.
Hardly ever watch HGTV anymore–usually peruse the line-up, but more often than not, I pass it by. A programming mix of real-estate, design, staging, flipping, and gardening/landscaping shows would have me back more often than I care to admit!
Thanks for investigating, Julia!
I miss Candice Olsen, Sara Richardson but do not miss Design on a Dime.
I too miss the old HGTV. I haven’t watched in quite a while now, but when I did, I watched for the design and decorating, and though I’m not a gardener, I did enjoy the gardening shows. I also enjoyed the renovations, and did like some of the real estate shows.
If their new hosts are as loud and dramatic as everyone here says they are, I can’t help but wonder if the network isn’t trying to go for a bit of the “reality TV” aspect of delivery? It seems a lot of people are really hooked on all that fakery, which I think says a lot about youth culture these days and what appeals to them. Did you know the average IQ in the United States has actually DROPPED and is now below 100? 🙂 I’m one of those people out there that think this country is actually devolving …
Also, I can’t decide if these real estate shows are geared toward the 1%ers, and the network is trying to appeal to people who can actually afford to purchase real estate? My salary is significantly higher than the national average, but I live in Los Angeles and I can tell you I will NEVER be able to buy a home here, or most likely ANYWHERE in Southern California. Real estate prices here are ridiculous and outrageous, and all you get for half a million dollars these days is a flea-infested shack in the ghetto that needs new *everything.* Or perhaps the network is appealing to the 99%ers, who will NEVER be able to afford to purchase a home, and are strictly living vicariously through real estate TV?
Cheryl in Wisconsin says
Kimberly, you bring up many good points. I, too, have wondered if HGTV is revising to appeal to individuals with the deep pockets. I am one of the 99%-ers. (I do own my home but its value is nowhere near half a million, it is a modest old house in small town Wisconsin.) I can’t imagine wanting to live vicariously through these shows, I’m not impressed by their budgets. In fact, I find them inane.
Amanda Shaub says
Yes! It’s about the DRAMA. What does HGTV have to compete with: Real Housewives, Kardashians, and even Pawn Stars. If the HGTV shows are all scripted, I wonder where they are getting their writers from?
Also, this morning I was on HOUZZ and I came across a room that I saw done on Property Brothers some time ago. Turns out they had NOTHING to do with the design! The rooms were designed by a company in Texas.
No kidding? That’s interesting!
Is it this one? https://moontoweraustin.com/portfolio/amber/ Oh how I love-love-love this house and everything they put in it! And yes, it is an Austin design company, so how much did the Property Brothers have to do with it?
Interesting! Thanks for the link, Pam. Great house.
Have given up on HGTV……..boring and completely uninspiring……really miss the old shows…..ie..Homes Across America, Kitty, Genevieve etc. Even the shelter magazines have hit the skids. Blogs have filled that void for me. I must have upwards of 30 to 40 in my favorites…….plus all these great bloggers lead to hundreds of others. Not enough hours in the day to keep up. A real time sucker…
Might need a support group for my addiction…..HaHa
I’m with Becca, when I discovered HGTV I stopped watching practically everything else and my husband made fun of me, I loved Kitty Bartholomew’s You’re Home, Home across America, Country Style, and the garden shows. I cannot stand Love or list or the clone of it. I’m sick of House Hunters, I don’t care if the houses are in Hawaii or Timbuktu. So, I just stopped watching HGTV.
Jenn, I know how Kevin got the This Old House host gig, he contacted Ask this Old House for help repairing something in his house. I have been watching This Old House for decades. I started watching when Bob Vila’s hair was still dark.
Now that I think about, the reason I hate House Hunters are these phrases, open concept, granite counters, stainless steel appliances. I have the open concept, just by chance, I wasn’t looking for it. I fought for Corian counters and white appliances, my husband wanted granite and stainless steel appliances. I won, that was almost ten years ago. We are thinking about updating the appliances, and once again we will NOT get stainless steel appliances.
HGTV has left me behind too. Cannot stand the fake drama. Loved Homes Across America with Joe Riggiero and Lynette Jennings for the quality and calmness of their shows. Heck even Joan Steffund and Kitty Bartholomy had a great deal of knowledge to offer. However the real estate shows are just getting rediculously boring and contrived.
I always enjoyed “Homes Across America.” Wish they’d bring that back!
Oh I loved Homes Across America, the quality designers, the gardening shows and shows such as Dream Drives…now it is not just about fake drama, is is about pushing PRODUCT. Conspicuous consumption, throwing away so much~which is why I love Nicole on Rehab Addict~the only show I watch now…don’t think HGTV cares about the audience they have lost….or it would be different…but thank goodness for great blogs like this one! Thanks so much, Julia.
Does anyone else actually get sick and/or dizzy trying to watch Bath Crashers, Yard Crashers, and the like? I don’t know who they employ as their camera people, but I wish they would stop with the zooming, off-centered and halfway upside-down shots already! I would like to watch those shows, but I actually just physically can’t stomach it after about five minutes. I like Scott McGillivray’s delivery – even if his show is scripted, I like his laid-back style, and he genuinely seems to want to help the people who come on his show. I am very tired of the rest of the shows on HGTV, and wish they would bring back the original style of shows they first started with. Unfortunately, as with most everything in this world anymore, money talks, so I don’t think we’ll be seeing anything different from the channel in the near future.
Julie B. [Holland] says
I go back the States once a year to visit family and friends, in the last few years I can see the same shows I saw the last time I was there on HGTV. Last year when I was home I rarely turned it on, the repeat and repeat them. We have now here House Hunters international, and once in a while get some of the shows from way back on other channels here on our cable. I did like seeing the one show about “curb appeal” .
I used to watch a lot of HGTV – rarely watch now. I miss the “old” HGTV.
I used to watch HGTV all the time for the decorating shows. Now, I only watch it when I can’t find something else on another channel. I can’t wait to check out the British shows Restoration Home and Grand Design mentioned above.
For me, it’s all about the hosts. If I don’t like them, I can’t watch. I watch House Hunters and HH International if they’re somewhere interesting. I like Beat The House – that was cute, but On Demand hasn’t had any new eps up in a while. Property Brotheres / Buying & Selling are okay, but it’s just too ridiculous sometimes. Thanks goodness for the fast forward button, or I’d give up on this channel all together! My mega-crush on Josh Temple will keep me watching House Crashers reruns for at least another couple of years!!
I love watching Canadian House and Home episodes online (houseandhome.com). Informative and useful episodes, about 20 minutes each, I think. I rarely watch HGTV anymore. I will definitely check out those British shows, though!
We don’t have cable, so I only get to watch HGTV when we go on vacation in the hotel or when I go to one of our doctors (not that often) who has HGTV on his waiting room big screen TV….which is a nice change from a news channel. My favorites are Hawaii Life and Flea Market Flip. I am going to look for the shows mentioned that you can see on the internet. Thanks Julia, you always know the right questions to ask. And, thanks to all who commented here, I learned a lot! 🙂
Connie Nikiforoff Designs says
Well HGTV you’re going to hate my comments (if you ever read them), but here goes:
I used to LOVE HGTV and would relish it for hours if I had an overnight stay in a hotel or if I happened to be visiting my parents and had some TV viewing time to myself. It was a treat because we don’t have cable or satellite TV. I kept thinking…”Maybe I outta get cable or satellite so I can watch HGTV more often.” I really loved the decorating shows and many of the gardening shows too.
Well, now………Ummm let’s just say I no longer have a need to get cable TV. Ya watch one real estate show,you’ve seen them all! Everyone knows they’re scripted (what TV show isn’t?) but a steady diet of anything gets pretty boring after awhile.
DIY network actually has a couple shows worthy of my time.
HGTV, keep some of the real estate shows but give us back some decorating and gardening shows too! You know your ratings are high, but you’ll never know if your ratings will go higher or not if you don’t program more decoratings shows 😉
As a decorator, it was fun to watch decorating shows. However I’m constantly trying to educate prospective clients “Decorating doesn’t really happen the way it looks on HGTV. It takes far more time to complete than what you see in a 30 or 60 minute show, the decorator doesn’t really come in and do the painting, and most importantly rarely do they ever show the labor fees for that ‘$2000 budget’ decorating project. So you know it’s going to be more even for a small budget when that’s figured in.”
Well there ya go 😉
I miss all of the decorating shows too! I dream about having Emily Henderson or Genevive Gorder or Candice Olson come redo my house. Those were such good shows. All of the real estate shows get so boring, its the same script and show everytime! Just different locale.
Just another disappointed HGTV fan here. Even my husband commented on the list of shows recently. They seem so fake. At least the decorating shows gave us ideas we could use.
Carol Hake says
I’m with everyone else … totally miss the decorating shows. That’s why I started watched HGTV in the first place – Home and Garden TV. What’s interesting is that their magazine is a MUST for me and I read each issue cover to cover and sometimes several times. I often forget that HGTV and the HGTV magazine are the same company since they do not reflect each other at all in my opinion. I have moved over to DIY Network which is a just okay substitute. Unfortunately there aren’t any other channels that post decoration programs. Very much a bummer!
Theresa M. says
I was going to say the same thing! All the designers that we miss are in the magazine. Probably the biggest reason these shows aren’t on anymore is these people are FAMOUS and now require much larger fees to be on tv.
In any case, I’ll read the magazine and skip the actual network.
Scott Costello says
I will say that all the shows that you have mentioned on HGTV are the shows that I like the most. I’m admittedly and real estate junkie so I’d much rather watch a show about remodeling a kitchen, backyard or bathroom then the decorating shows.
Property Brothers and Income Property are my two favorite shows right now. I do also like Love it or List it, but I’ve seen most of those.
I do wonder how scripted they really are….actually no I wouldn’t because it would ruin the shows for me.
Chiming in to say that I hardly ever watch HGTV anymore. I too miss the days of old with Chris Madden and Joe Ruggiero- never much cared for Matt & Sherry. That said, I have my DVR set to capture any episode that might air of a Sarah Richardson show and really enjoy Rehab Addict when I catch one. I get my house gawking fix online now, thanks to Julia!
i have mixed opinions on this topic.
love a good before and after show–i can ingnore all of the manufactured drama on property brothers and love it or list it just to see what they can do to a run down old house. they rarely disappoint, although i always wonder how durable & livable their renovations are.
do not love all of the house hunters—boring, uninteresting properties that are never brought “to life” during the episodes.
i really miss the gardening shows that hgtv used to air. as someone mentioned, a gardener’s diary was fantastic. 30 minutes of beautiful, beautifully filmed gardens with actual information.
people used to tune into soap operas for a dose of pre-fab, amped up, totally unrealistic drama, angst and life. reality shows are the new soaps and networks are smart enough to target niche audiences for their new “soaps”.
I will still watch House Hunters and Love It or List It (when I do get a chance to watch TV), but I really miss the days of the design shows, like Decorating Cents. I was a teenager during the Trading Spaces days (which was on TLC, but same idea), and that show and the others around that time taught me a bunch about DIY. I’d get an idea, usually ask my Dad what I’d need to get it done, and then do it. There was a lot of trial and error, but over a decade later, I know what I can easily get done, and what I’d rather pay someone to do. I wish they’d bring backTrading Spaces because it wasn’t staged the way these real estate shows are. It was done in real time with a budget, more true to life. If I had started watching Love It or List It and Property Brothers when I was younger, I don’t think I would have wanted to attempt any DIY. Those shows are dramatic setback after dramatic setback. That would be discouraging.
Quite interesting. I actually signed up for cable in order to get HGTV as I loved watching it away from the house. The first few days, the tv was on HGTV all day. It was quite a disappointment when I realized it was all real estate shows now. They were fun, but I tired of them almost immediately. I must admit, I can’t remember the last time I watched HGTV. It would be so nice if they would balance the line up with more decorating and gardening shows. I’d love to have a reason to come back!!!
Only tangentially related — I *did* love the recent 4 ep series The Brian Boitano Project. Did you happen to catch it?
No, I missed that! I wonder if they’ll run it again. I’ll have to check.
I don’t watch HGTV very much anymore. I miss the old HGTV with decorating and crafts and fun to watch TV personalities. Whoever changed the programming doesn’t have their finger on the real HGTV viewer. We like House Hunters but that’s about it. (And, by the way, we miss Suzanne Whang).
Take off Love It Or List It. It’s boring. Put back the craft shows, the decorating shows, the nice TV personalities. Until then, HGTV is going to lose big time in the ratings.
They’ve lost me as a viewer..can’t stand those shows anymore (and those brothers scare me). I liked those old unpretentious decorating shows (remember Joan, Kitty?)..I only sometimes watch the international house hunters to see what other countries houses look like..the same reason I watch the bachelor..for the travel log. The one show I really like is Nicole Curtis “rehab addict” because she restores old condemned houses..I’m all for restoration not following the latest trend. Even that flea market flip annoys me when they ruin a great vintage piece that should’ve been left alone.
I liked some parts of the how to shows, but they always focused on doing things so cheaply that they lost luster to me. I don’t want table mats as window treatments at this point in my life – show me good, strong design instead.
The real estate shows are primarily great for the before and afters. It’s also fun to guess which house will be chosen on Property Brothers and House Hunters. Even if most of the houses they see are never really in contention, I don’t know which one they renovated.
The drama though – so hokey.
Sarah In Illinois says
I still really love HGTV. I love seeing design, style, locations of other houses. My only wish is that they would show more homes in realistic price ranges. I live in the Midwest, I will never in my lifetime ever walk into a $500,000 house, let alone purchase one.
I would love to see real estate and renovations on $100,000-250,000 homes! That is more realistic to the homeowners I know!
Those shows are shot in Toronto and the real estate prices are astronomical.
Sure, House Hunters and all those other real estate shows rank high on HGTV’s list because that’s all there is to watch. If they asked their viewers what they would like to watch, I’m sure the list would be much different. The only show I like to watch on HGTV now is Rehab Addict.
I stopped watching HGTV years ago. There is nothing intelligent going on, it seems everything is a game or a slapdash 2 day blowout executed poorly in most cases. I tried to watch Rehab Addict but I just can’t stand that girl. I replaced HGTV with design/decor blogs so I can pick and choose what I really want to see. I would like to see a “design class – design 101” type of show, more variety showing real living spaces, well known designers talk about careers in design – how it all works, etc…, trends in design(High Point, buyers,etc…) – there is so much more they could do – they have lost a great many viewers – don’t they see this?
Maybe it’s me. But while HGTV say they are satisfied with their ratings, they don’t seem particularly disturbed that the shows are losing classier hosts and homebuyers. There seem to be way too many “buyers” (mostly the women) who walk through perfectly decent houses who say, “We”ll have to gut this.” “We need a new kitchen.” “Those bathrooms have to go.” “I can’t live with that.” “Look at those colors.” Oh, EWWW They disparage everything about the house. It disturbs me that they are so crass about trashing the homes without consideration that real people lived there and might have been proud of their former homes. There are more gracious ways to express reservations about the property and decoration. And what’s funny is that this is usually in houses that cost maybe $150,000 or less. I always wonder — if they actually had enough money to do all that work, why didn’t they just buy a house that doesn’t require everything new? And then when you see what the couple does to decorate the house after and you think, wow, boy, do they really need a decorator!
Sadly, I think HGTV, like the two cooking channels, are all bottom surfing.
My question is this: why does hgtv continue to have a design star contest if they do not even feature design shows anymore? Congrats! You just won…nothing! Seriously, they are not winning a show, so what are they winning? A column in hgtv magazine? Their own line of paint? How disappointing! My love of hgtv has disappeared right along with my love of u.s. magazines. Thankfully, the u.k. is still producing fabulous magazines (the u.k. version of country living is ten times better and double the size of the u.s. version!). I still watch, but I am not inspired at all.
I’m so glad I found this post because I thought I was alone in being so dissatisfied with the new HGTV programming. I miss the old design shows and stylists, learning all the tricks to being able to design your home on a budget. I feel like all the reno and real-estate shows only really cater to people with lots of money — all these million dollar properties and Hawaii homes…it’s a great fantasy, but it’s nothing I can use in my real life. I get why it’s fun to spy on these luxurious lifestyles and homes…but at the end of the day I miss watching the channel for the things that I could realistically do with my own home. I miss the design tips and the things that were affordable.
1 million dollar houses in Hawaii and $100K renovations end up making me more frustrated than anything else.
I do like Property Virgins, but I miss The Unsellables, Designed to Sell, and Curb Appeal. I guess Buying and Selling is supposed to fill the void, but it’s really not the same. I also like when Sarah Richardson’s show is reran, especially because Tommy Smythe is so great. There was a show that was kind of like the High / Low Project that I also liked, despite both being contrived, I did learn things from those shows (until the High / Low Project became one big ol’ Target commercial, ugh). Anyway. I do miss the old HGTV.
The change in programming is similar to what happened at the Food Network also. They keep increasing the number of “competition” shows, and reducing the number of “dump and stir” shows. I prefer the shows that actually feature recipes and technique. If I never see another Iron Chef or cupcake again….I would be OK with it!!! Just my 2 cents…..
Michelle H. says
I also USED to watch all things HGTV….my husband is happy now because it is rare for me to hog the tv for that now.
I wonder if their demographic changed when their programming changed? My guess is that they picked up more male viewers with all the reno shows and possibly the real estate shows, or maybe attracted younger viewers who want to buy a home.
For me, the blog world has filled the void that the channel left behind. It is where I get my ideas and inspiration from for everything from decor, cooking, crafting, etc… Funny, I used to like the Trash to Treasure feature on one of the old HGTV shows….now I get all those ideas from blogs….
Janette @ The 2 Seasons says
I used to watch HGTV nonstop, but I rarely watch it any more. It seems as if everything is done quickly and cheaply and they’re always fighting a time constraint. The bottom line is they’ve “dumbed it down.”
The only shows my wife and I watch on HGTV are House Hunters Intl. Island Life, Hawaii Life simply for the ability to see what homes and locations around the world look like. The rest of HGTV has turned into, well, pardon my French, Crappe’!
I miss the days when I could watch landscape shows where I learned things, or home improvement that actually shows home improvement. I don’t want staged, manufactured and fake, I want something that actually teaches me things. It used to be informational, now, its mind numbingly, brain wasting and he wife and I barely watch the channel anymore! It’s a shame, when you think about what we used to get from the earlier generations of shows! Where do we go when we want to be entertained with “how to” shows? I can’t imagine the shows HGTV churns out now, has people running to Home Depot and Lowes to do a project they just learned how to do!
As HGTV’s shows have gotten worse, I have to admit, its saved me a few dollars by no longer being inspired to tackle certain things I saw on these older shows that actually taught me something and wanted to do them. Thats a plus, I guess! HGTV programming is keeping me out of the home improvement stores!
What about rehab addicted? Real or fake?
I haven’t heard from anyone behind-the-scenes on that show, but she’s really buying and fixing up those houses as far as I know.
Natalie Batson says
I can’t get over how great these makeovers look,I am so excited to see the expressions on the homeowners faces when they walk into their own homes.
I’m so hooked to HGTV and there are so many things I have learned by just looking at this show.It is breathtaking.
I had written to HGTV some time ago about how boring their channel has become with so much house hunters. While I love looking in other peoples houses I am tired of the same shows over & over. At one time HGTV was the only channel I ever had on but as of late the show Renovation Realities has caught my fancy. I enjoy seeing real people trying to fix things on their own. (Love Nicole too.)I hope they continue to show more of that as well as other shows more like that. I do miss Kitty, & all the others who showed us how to fix things around our own houses on a budget & hoped they would bring back some of those type of shows.Maybe if enough people contacted them & complained changes would come. But I do Love Hillary, David ,Jonathan & Drew & will keep watching them.I love those floor plans. As always thanks Julia for your fantastic website cause I am Hookedonhouses also!
While it appears that HGTV has top shows that attract over a half million viewers in the adults 25-54 demographic (see chart in article above), how many of these people are likely to support the advertisers that profit the network? I have a sister, 42, and a dad, 78, who watch House Hunters, Love It or List It, and Property Brothers quite often. However neither shop at Home Depot or Lowe’s or a similar store.
The idea is to appeal to a quality audience, not a quantitative one, if the ads on HGTV are not driving consumers to the advertisers. Are they?
HGTV when compared to a lot of the other so-called reality shows on other networks wasting time and space on television, appears pretty non-controversial.
That said, I do share the sentiments of many on here in expressing their displeasure in the direction HGTV is evolving. History changed their identity a few years back. Not too many people were pleased. However they developed H2 which is a throwback in many ways to the original History Channel. Both History and H2 are carried in the same primary packages cable operators offer.
Perhaps HGTV should investigate the possibility of starting a second channel primary tier cable network that, like, History’s H2 brings back the older series even if they are repeats of earlier shows. It should not cost a lot to initiate something like that. Both HGTV networks could cross-promote shows. It could result in another revenue stream for the parent company Scripps networks.
Just a thought.
Does anyone remember a show that was on about remodelling I believe. It was about a female contractor. She owned her own construction company. Was building her new office at one point I think. She didnt actually do the work, was more like a general contactor. I think her daughter was part of it. Sorry so vague. It didnt air for very long. Only a few episodes. She was quite pretty, out spoken. Its driving me crazy I cant remember. Is there a place to look up past shows? Id know it if I saw the name.
I miss old HGTV too. I wish they’d bring back the decorating shows.
That one doesn’t ring a bell so I must not have seen it. Does anyone else recognize the show she’s talking about?
I just found it. It was called Tough as Nails. Her name is Cindy Stumpo. She is a high end builder. It didnt air for very long. One season I think is all. I remember she was very tough lol. Not sure why she came to mind but it was driving me crazy I couldnt remember the show. Thanks for replying though 🙂
Oh, good, I’m glad you tracked it down. Stuff like that drives me nuts when I can’t remember it! 🙂
why is it all you see on hgtv is love it or list it property brothers 7 days a week what happened to all the other shows i don,t watch hgtv now
After reading the msg’s I understand why I’m seeing the same shows over and over. Add the fact that they are fake. What a rip-off! After I,get over the embarrassment of forcing my family to watch the shows…. I will post this information for my fb friends.
I’m so over HGTV! The same shows every night, over and over. UGH!
I miss Vern Yip, David Bromstad, Candace Olson, Genevieve Gorder, John Gidding, Sarah Richardson et al.
I miss the White Room Challenge on Design Star, High Low design…that kind of show.
So sorry they changed their format. 🙁
What happened to my favorite channel HGTV? Years ago it was the only channel on my TV. Now it’s all real estate and that’s not what I’m interested in every single day. Marathons are not a great way to get viewers to watch a channel all day either. I’m more than happy to provide a million show ideas to get this channel back to being watched again!
Rebecca Dexter says
Hate the new format….miss Sarah terribly…do not watch anymore…I don’t know who these people the producers say are watching all of the real estate shows…none of my friends are. It is interesting to hear that the few who do watch only do so because of the decorating…gee I wonder that that means??? Get a clue HGTV!
Kathy d says
Yep, I barely watch the channel any more. I miss the good old days of decorating and design. They can throw in a show or toe for buying real estate. I like renovating shows but not the showy contest crashed type. And everything all looks the same.
I am so bored with all of the real estate shows on HGTV., I would like to see more decorating ideas, how to put color schemes together, more high – low type decorating projects. You really can’t learn how to renovate a house by watching the type of programs HGTV is airing now.. Plumbing needs plumbers and electrical needs electricians … Most people with any common sense already know that. I wonder how many remodels get started by people with no knowledge!!!
Izi Ningishzidda says
I used to be a huge fan of HGTV, I was dissapointed to learn after re-subscribing that they only air real estate shows now. Design on a Dime is gone. Bring back the decorators. Oh what I would give for a Nate Berkus show. Some of the real estate shows are fun but they get old.
Maribel Reyes says
Even though I like the real estate programs I miss all the other ones on decorating and ideas for the home please bring them back its tiring watching the same thing all the time miss the old ir bring something new like someone already said I watch it because their is nothing else or just change the channel or off the tv. You need to listen to your viewers you may have a lot but are losing lot more. Thank u
Reading all of these negative comments about the real estate/remodel shows makes me laugh. These people obviously haven’t been stuck at the allergists office for 45 minutes while they make sure they don’t have a reaction. These shows are quite entertaining and pass the time so much faster. I always stay the extra minutes to see how they end.
What would be great is if you go to the web site for each show and actually find out where to buy the decorative things. For example I watched an episode of Love it or list it and loved a few things that Hillary used for decoration. I would have really liked it if I could look it up on the web site to see where to buy it. I think the shows are fun even if they are scripted. The personalities are great and the make overs are even better. You want real then watch the news.
Love that idea, Bonnie. It would be great to have the sources all listed in one place like that!
Lisa B says
I’m with most of you. I used to watch HGTV almost all the time. Love the old shows and am totally disappointed with the direction they have gone. Though I like to see the houses on the real estate shows on occasion, there’s just nothing else that the network offers.
However, I must say that before the current real estate trend, I did think that the line-up had gotten too heavy with the room/house/garden makeovers. Though I could watch Candice Olsen’s designs all day (she’s a fantastic host and designer), the tips and the makeovers from most of the shows were becoming stale and repetitive.
As some of the others have said, there will no doubt come a point where it will swing again, and real estate programming will be replaced with something else, though who knows what the new thing will be. For myself, I would like to see something along the lines of ‘Design 101’, with segments such as “how to design an L-shaped room” , or 10 ways to stage a fireplace mantle for a completely different look”. Give me a design education for use in my own home, that’s what I want. Same thing for gardening. I guess since HGTV isn’t about to change what’s working for them, I’ll see what can be found elsewhere.
The only problem with the home repair/reno shows was, if they didn’t pertain to what you were interested in doing, you didn’t much watch them. With these other shows, although we all know as intelligent adults, all reality shows are staged to some degree, is there is a story. Hillary is a hoot to watch, and we know she never gets her hands dirty, but her British sense of humor is so sarcastic and dry, she’s just fun. And the ever suffering David, it’s just a good character creation.
It’s all just entertainment, and if we take it seriously, we may as well watch cartoons. We actually have gotten some good ideas from these shows and used them, so there is something to be said for that aspect. There’s always the DIY channel, and plenty old instructional shows on Netflix.
Kathy d says
Oh my the list is endless! I agree with all of you on your disappointment with hgtv. I never watch it anymore either. I also want to comment that the mentality has permeated the real estate market. Nowadays you have to strip your house down or redecorate to sell because the public has the hgtv mentality that everything has to look ascertain way because they can’t visualize the perspective home as their own. It certainly didn’t use to be that way when hunting for a new home. I feel like they are brainwashing the public in a cookie cutter way. Is it really that hard?
In regards to Proberty Brothers/Buying and Selling –
I know he’s more for eyecandy, as well as a contractor and not a ‘crew guy’ (that’s why he co-owns the brothers’ company and oversees the projects) but I’m almost Johnathan Scott does quite a bit of the work and has done it before… The way he busts through everything with the demos and stuff is quite quick and efficient like he has prior experience. Drew’s definitely the pretty boy so I don’t expect him to anything but walk them through the house and help with finishing the decor when cameras are on haha!
I love the idea of finding below market value properties and rehabbing them for sale so I’ve been watching marathons of Flip or Flop. Do you have any “behind the scenes” details on this show?
aimee zuccarini says
I pay fifteen dollars more a month on my cable bill to get HGTV — but no more.
An entire Monday of Love It Or List It?
And those two awful cretin Property Brothers?
And now these two Born Again Fixer Uppers?
Again and again and again and again . . .
Sad to say good bye to a once informative fresh concept.
I find these shows so utterly boring that I cringe when they come on. I am so sick of these couples expecting to move into the Taj Mahal on their limited budget. And I’m also tired of people trying to flip these crappy houses.
Bring back the shows that TEACH viewers to create the design that fits their lifestyle. 33% of Americans rent. That is an awful big demographic to ignore. Not everyone chooses to own their home. Be it due to financial or lifestyle reasons people live in rental units and would like to see shows that transform their rental into a home they are proud of.
Many of my friends and neighbors have turned away from HGTV because it focuses on home ownership and it seems the network has turned their back on renters.
They now spend time on Pinterest for ideas and designs for their home transformations. Design on a Dime and Small Space Big Style were great shows no matter who the hosts were.
I too miss the design shows on HGTV. I can’t say real estate programs are my cup of TV. When I read comments on this site I hear many echoing my opinion. And yet, HGTV reps say people love the real estate shows. I’m confused. So, if both opinions hold merit, why don’t they compromise. Half and half. Where is Candice Olsen and Sarah Richardson? I can’t find David Bromsted either? Use to be an HGTV addict; not so much any more. Sad…
I’m going to pipe up here too. I really miss the garden and design type shows. Like I told my husband – they should just take the G out of HGTV.
And even when we do get a “garden” show why do they need to be done as a “crashers” show on an insane time schedule? Very unrealistic with lots of shortcuts.
So even though I can’t completely boycott HGTV (I need my Scott McGillivray fix – what a babe! – it’s been in awhile since this 58 year old woman has had such a crush!) I’ve stopped watching most HGTV shows.
Miss the garden shows to!!!! Used to love to watch them …also Candice Olsen, Genevieve Gorder, colour splash, gardening by the yard, design stars, landscapers challenge, if walls could talk, etc ….so many more I miss …love it or list it is getting old same old same old ….boring …
Cristina Cazabonne says
I don’t think they care about the rating. At work we used to discuss the decorating programs on HGTV, but since the programming changed to real state, we don’t talk about it anymore, because no one is watching. I don’t watch this channel anymore. I already own a house, and I don’t need to see another trick to buy or sell a house.
Melissa O'hara says
I really miss the designer shows from Candice Olson and Sarah Richardson. They walked you through the process of why a color, fabric or piece of furniture was chosen. What an education!
Katherine Venters says
On “Love It or List It” – do they get pre-approved for the renovation? Who negotiates the listing and the contract for their new property? Who pays for all the new furniture and accessories for the reveal of their reno?
Sporty McHappenin' says
Why Do They Play the Same Shows Over & Over on HGTV?
Money. They dont have enough of it.
imagine you own a puppet theater and $10 and you aren not a creative person. 2 x $5 buys you a script, cast, production for one puppet show. So you take another $5 each from car wash, hobby house and Lowe’s in return for advertising their stuff at least 10 times per day. Presto, 3 more shows you can produce and present.
But $25 is not enough nearly enough to keep your whole neighborhood entertained 24/7/365. Because there are 5000 more puppet shows all over town.
So you are forced to show the same 5 shows over and over and over to keep your commitments to the sponsors.
I just read the response to the numerous complaints about the HGTV lineup in this article and quite frankly find HGTV’s response dismissing and short sighted. Perhaps numbers have not dropped for HGTV and yes, people are watching the back to back renovation and real-estate shows, however I think this simply reflects the fact that there are not other home and garden stations and people are home and garden design obsessed! A little variety wouldn’t hurt!
I dropped cable for a while and was shocked and disappointed (yet still watching) that so many awesome makeover shows were gone! I miss Devine Design like nobody’s business! Design on a Dime helped me and a few other shows basically taught me how to update my first home on my own (when I didn’t have tens of thousands of dollars to renovate). Through those experiences, HGTV created a loyal fan with starry-eyed confidence to pick up power tools she’d never heard of! Your current change to a monotonous line-up may float the bills for the station for now, but please try to be as dedicated and creative to your viewers as we are to you. We are not changing the channel…yet.
I agree. Some variety couldn’t hurt!
I miss the young red haired woman designer who had a couple of different shows on hgtv about 6 or 7 yrs ago. I believe it was filmed in San Francisco and she was in her early twenties. The show was similar to Design on a Dime but she had great ideas with lots of style and always had professional looking results. She was way ahead of the curve repurposing furnishings and accessories from vintage items.
I think I know who you mean, Greg, but I’m drawing a blank on her name. Does anyone else know? This is going to drive me crazy now…ha.
Like most comments I’ve read, I no longer watch HGTV because of the crap. Give me a break, PLEASE from the same old, same old. It’s obvious to me that HGTV has gone the cheap route and they refuse to pay for what used to be quality programs. Ooops, I DO turn the station on to watch Rehab Addict with Nicole and Fixer Upper with the cute married couple from Texas , Chip and his very pretty, talented wife. Now that’s refreshing. Oh, how I miss Candace Olson, and Sarah Richardson with her sidekick Tommy! Candace, Sarah and Tommy dress with such style you just know they are going to put beautiful style in everything and anything they do. Boo to Love It or List It, Property Brothers, House Hunters etc,etc, etc, And wasn’t Kitty a cutey puhtootie too 🙂 Really miss The Christopher Lowell days on Discovery.
Mary Ann says
As many have said in previous posts, I HATE the new programming, HGTV used to be what I watched the most, now it’s almost never. What I don’t understand is why they have ” next design star” and then we never see them again! I”m into repurpose, recycle, reuse, let’s see more shows like Lara Spencer’s Flea Market Flip.
They have lost me for the most part. I can’t believe how many reruns they show and they show those reruns over and over until you would think the tape would break.
I don’t really mind the real estate programming but give me new episodes or new shows!
Has anyone noticed Hoise Hunters uses the same house but in different episodes and locations?
D J says
I am so sick of Love It or List It. We will watch anything but the show. Property Brothers is getting to be the same. why not bring back the good shows like Verns and Mike Holmes and David?
P walczak says
I have read a lot of comments and agree that they need to bring back more decorating shows like Decorating Cents & Design on a Dime and some gardening shows! I don’t care for many of the shows they have on now like Property Brothers and Love it or List it.