The folks at HGTV are proud that they don’t use talking heads to host their shows, instead hiring real estate, construction and landscaping professionals.
“We’ll go out and find people like Chip and Joanna Gaines, or Tarek and Christina El Moussa, who are in the real estate or renovation business, and we’ll build a show around what they’re doing in their regular lives,” says Kathleen Finch, president, HGTV. “If it’s a job that requires a license, they have licenses, whether they’re contractors or tradespeople.”
In some cases — as with Jonathan and Drew Scott of “Property Brothers” or cousins Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri of “Kitchen Cousins” — HGTV develops multiple series around popular personalities.
Here are a few current favorites.
Cousins Undercover, Kitchen Cousins
John Colaneri & Anthony Carrino
The real-life cousins — who have day jobs with the family construction business — know that the passion they share for their work comes through to their viewers. “They can see how vested we are in the projects and how much it means for us to give back to others,” Colaneri says.
Carrino is still astounded by how profoundly “Cousins Undercover” volunteers are affected by participating on projects. “The satisfaction of doing something selfless for someone else, expecting nothing in return, directly emulates (the qualities of) the homeowners we’ve selected for these episodes. In the end, he says the volunteers become the heroes they’re helping.”
Chip & Joanna Gaines
Viewers love the Texas-based owners of Magnolia Homes, who remodel and redecorate homes for clients. “We want people to be inspired and feel empowered do things creatively and outside the box in their own home,” Joanna says. “We take things as they come our way, and we strive to do them all with excellence.”
Chip adds, “We also have a great support system within our family and our business, which helps us manage everything that’s going on.” Family is the underlying theme of the show as well as most of their projects. “For us, relationships are the most important thing,” Joanna says, whether those relationships are with family, clients or their colleagues at HGTV.
Flip or Flop
Tarek & Christina El Moussa
Fans enjoy learning about house flipping along with these real-life real estate agents, who’d only flipped three house prior to the show. “This year we will do 80 to 100,” says Tarek.
The couple want viewers to see that hard work can make dreams come true, but don’t want to gloss over the pitfalls.
“We want viewers to learn from our mistakes. Each episode shows things that can go wrong, and do go wrong,” Christina says. “Whether a viewer is flipping or remodeling a home, chances are things will come up. ‘Flip or Flop’ prepares flippers and renovators for what may possibly come their way.”
Love It or List It
Hilary Farr & David Visentin
Since 2008, “Love It or List It” has been a fan favorite on HGTV, no doubt causing arguments among viewers who can’t agree if the homeowners should choose designer Farr’s renovation of their existing home or buy a property Visentin has shown them.
Whatever viewers, or homeowners, decide, the dynamic duo hopes two lessons are learned. “No matter how crazy life or a renovation gets, — and it gets a little crazy on the show — if you have the right people in your corner things will work out fine,” says Visentin.
Farr says, “I’d like to think (viewers) understand the importance and value of hiring professionals you can trust, specifically designers, of course!”
Property Brothers franchise, Brother vs. Brother, Buying & Selling
Drew & Jonathan Scott
They’re identical twins, but every Scott brothers fan knows Jonathan’s the contractor and Drew’s the seasoned realtor.
Unlike their other shows, “Brother vs. Brother” showcases their competitive side. “I love how it shows off our sibling rivalry. Anybody with a brother or sister can relate. It’s about encouraging and inspiring each other, and not so much about the win,” Jonathan says. “I have to say that because I lost the last two seasons.”
Drew says their upcoming special “pulls back the curtain and shows fans exactly what we would do to our own home. Everybody’s ‘dream home’ is different,” he says, “but it’s always about making your life easier so you can spend more time with the ones you love.”