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Ellen DeGeneres To Launch Competition Series on HGTV

Popular daytime talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres will launch her first cable series on Scripps Networks Interactive’s HGTV, the head of the network disclosed Tuesday.

“Ellen’s Design Challenge” will pit six competitors against each other as they tackle challenges to sketch, design and build furniture, all in a 24-hour span. The last person standing in this six-episode series will win a cash prize.

When DeGeneres met with HGTV executives, said Kathleen Finch, president of the company’s HGTV and DIY networks,  she discussed “her love of buying and renovating homes” and her “personal passion for the creative process of furniture design emerged as something that she wanted to explore more.”

The show, slated to debut in 2015, will be produced by DeGeneres’ production company,  A Very Good Production, as well as A. Smith & Co. in association with Telepictures, which also produced her daytime series “Ellen.” Executive producers are DeGeneres,  Jeff Kleeman of A Very Good Production and Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Jay Bienstock of A. Smith & Co.

Development of the series highlights Scripps’ increasing reliance on established celebrities  – not the chefs and home-renovation experts it has cultivated for years – to catch viewer attention. In recent seasons, HGTV and DIY have created programs for a disparate group of stars that include Vanilla Ice, Daryl Hall, and Jennie Garth, the actress best known for her stint on “Beverly Hills 90210” on Fox. Sister outlet Food Network will add Valerie Bertinelli to its daytime programming mix. And actor William Shatner is taking part in a renovation show for DIY that Finch said may be up for consideration for a second season.


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