Banyan Prods. has landed 60 more episodes of its decorating skein “Trading Spaces” on TLC.
Recent rush of business — the studio has also won a new full season order for its other TLC reality series, “A Wedding Story” — has led the Philadelphia-based company to open a Los Angeles office.
Chris Deaux, best known as an indie documaker, has been tapped West Coast director of development. Banyan expects to add more staffers to its new L.A. office shortly.
Moves comes after TLC earned the best primetime household ratings in its history with an April episode of “Trading Spaces” (a 3.2 Nielsen score). Starring country crooners the Dixie Chicks, the installment also topped all four broadcast nets in the adults 18-49 (2.8) demo in its primary 9 p.m. Saturday timeslot.
“Trading Spaces,” which also runs Monday-Friday at 4 p.m., features two pairs of neighbors taking turns sprucing up a room in the other’s home on a $1000 budget. New episodes of “Trading Spaces” — TLC’s highest-rated series in general — will encompass its coming third season this fall.
NBC’s “The Today Show” did its own spin on the series in a recent segment.
“The networks are realizing that the programming we do isn’t throwaway. It isn’t cheap,” said Banyan prexy Ray Murray. “We’re proving you can do high-quality series that can be done efficiently and can work.”
Murray added that the 10-year-old company has been looking to expand into L.A. for awhile, “but the success of ‘Trading Spaces’ necessitated that we need to be here now.”
Banyan CEO Jan Dickler said the first order of business for the beefed-up team is to pitch its brand of “fusion programming,” in which projects are “a little bit of game, a little bit of ‘The Real World’ and a little bit of design.”
Paramount Domestic Television is launching next fall the daytime strip “Life Moments,” which features a lot of the same reality elements found in “Trading Spaces” and “A Wedding Story.”