You don’t need a home-improvement expert to restart “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.”
Jesse Tyler Ferguson, the actor best known for his turn as Mitchell Pritchett in the popular sitcom “Modern Family,’ will host HGTV’s ten-episode remodel of the popular home-improvement series, in which families and communities in need of help are given a massive reworking of their homes.
“I was so inspired by the original series and now I can’t wait to help families as the new host of ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,’” said Ferguson, in a prepared statement.
Ferguson represents a markedly different choice as host of the landmark show, which ran on ABC for nine seasons between 2003 and 2012. Ty Pennington, the carpenter and home-improvement expert, hosted the earlier run. The decision to hand the reins to Ferguson, who has enjoyed turns on Broadway as well as in Taylor Swift’s recent music video for “You Need to Calm Down,” suggests producers are looking for someone who can play up the feel-good aspects of the series, rather than focusing too intently on the nuts and bolts of home repair.
“Jesse’s participation as host of ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ is one of the ways that HGTV will put its own creative lens on the series,” said Jane Latman, who was named president of HGTV in April, in a statement.. “We’ll make some variations to creative aspects of the show, but it will always deliver the great storytelling that made it one of the most iconic and successful properties in television. Jesse’s a funny guy, with a warm, caring nature who will help us find the humor and joy in every situation, so that will make this a unique viewing experience for everyone.”
Each episode of the series puts a spotlight on local people trying to help someone in their area. HGTV says the home overhauls in the episodes will include interior, exterior and landscaping—all completed within seven days while the family is sent away for the week. The series will showcase builders, designers and landscapers who race against the clock to renovate a home before the family returns from their time away.
At its peak on ABC, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ had an average audience of nearly 16 million viewers. HGTV will make the series available via its mobile app and other on-demand venues. HGTV has also secured the U.S. and Caribbean rights to air 100 episodes of the original ABC program.
HGTV had considered an “Extreme Makeover” revival for some time, Kathleen Finch, chief lifestyle brands officer for the network’s parent company, Discovery, told Variety in January. The series had “always has been on our list of things to do. We just said, ‘Why not?’ We approached ABC. We approached Endemol. We had a lot of really great conversations and we were able to strike a deal,” she said “When viewers hear it’s on, they are going to say, ‘Well, of course.’ It makes perfect sense.” She added: “It was really a pipe dream for a while and we are really looking to make it all come true.”
The new episodes will be produced by Endemol Shine North America with Sharon Levy, DJ Nurre, Michael Heyerman and Brady Connell serving as executive producers. The company also produced the original version of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” for ABC.