TLC to Revive ‘Trading Spaces,’ Animal Planet Takes Aim at ‘My Fat Pet’

Host Travis Brorsen with Lisa Engel,
Courtesy of Animal Planet

TLC is bringing back “Trading Spaces,” the home renovation series that was the cabler’s signature series for more than a decade.

TLC unveiled its plan to revive the show at the Discovery Communications upfront presentation Tuesday in New York, where the company unveiled a slew of new programs for core channels Discovery, Investigation Discovery, TLC, Animal Planet, Science and OWN. Among the new offerings that got a rise out of the upfront crowd was “My Fat Pet,” an Animal Planet series that vows to tackle obesity among cats and dogs.

Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav gave a shout-out in his opening remarks to TLC for its growth spurt during the past year. He credited TLC president Nancy Daniels with understanding the mood of the cabler’s largely female audience and the desire for a respite from the topsy-turvy world of politics and the edgier aspects of pop culture.

“TLC is Middle America,” Zaslav said.

Other new TLC shows that got plugged at the presentation included docu-series “Hair Goddess,” the story of a Staten Island family that runs a hair extensions “empire”; “See Me, Love Me, Hear Me,” a dating show involving a woman who picks a mate after hearing their voice and seeing through their eyes (via streaming technology) but without seeing the man’s face; and “The Healer,” a docu series on an Australian man who claims to be able to heal through his powers of channeling energy.

TLC is adding its entry to the flood of specials coming in August to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of Princess Diana. “Diana: Tragedy or Treason” will probe the question of whether Diana’s death in a car crash was part of a “treasonous conspiracy.”

Details on the new-model “Spaces” were sparse, and there was no word on whether Paige Davis would be back as host. The original series ran from 2000-2011 and was a pioneer in the home renovation/interior design genre. Endemol Shine North America’s Authentic Entertainment is the production entity.

The highlight of Animal Planet’s slate was “My Fat Pet.” The show features trainer Travis Brorsen working with pet owners over a four-month period to put tubby cats and dogs on a diet and exercise regimen. The series is expected to bow in the third quarter.

Also getting a big plug was “Rescue Dog to Super Dog,” featuring heart-tugging stories of everyday dogs saved from extermination in shelters and trained as service dogs.

(Pictured: “My Fat Pet”)

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