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TLC airing $100,000 'Trading Spaces' two-hour special on October 5


By Reality TV World staff, 10/04/2003 

TLC's Trading Spaces is going upscale for an episode -- the network has announced it will air an one-time two-hour "$100,000 Challenge" on Sunday, October 5, 2003 at 8PM EST.

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Filmed at the homes of two lucky Plymouth, Massachusetts couples, the special will drop the program's usual $1,000-per-room limit and allow each designer to spent $50,000 while redesigning a room. But fans shouldn't worry that the series is permanently dropping the "designing on a budget" that has made it one of cable television's biggest hits. "The $100,000 episode is a fantasy episode," designer Doug Wilson, who worked on James and Tina Drakakis' kitchen and family room told USA Today. "But the $1,000 per room, that's our show. That's what makes us unique and interesting."

The budget increase will require some changes to the program format (and thus the inclusion of an additional broadcast hour.) For example, Day One will feature a short, stylized piece that will document the scheming and deception that was required to pull off the $100,000 Challenge. For example, the designers had to get a look at their rooms weeks in advance. Viewers will follow the cameras along as the designers scout the house and talk with the homeowners about what they'd like to do with their "thousand dollars." Tagging along will be a contingent of plumbers, electricians, painters and carpenters taking measurements and planning their major renovations. They might even knock down a wall or two!

When host Paige Davis finally told Barbi and John Joyce and the Drakakises that each room would get a $50,000 makeover, they were dumbfounded. "We were so excited to be on Trading Spaces, period. Then, when they said it was $50,000, I was shocked," says Barbi Joyce, whose living room was redone by series designer Laurie Smith.

In a final twist, each renovation will feature a $5,000 item selected by series host Paige Favis. After the unveiling, each homeowner will be asked to think carefully about the one item in their amazing new room that is "Paige's Present." And if they can correctly identify the item, it stays forever. If not, the item is removed.

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