ABC picks up 'Extreme Makeover' for a full season, also orders additional specials
By Reality TV World staff, 11/17/2003
ABC has ordered twelve additional episodes of its Extreme Makeover reality series, bringing its total order to twenty-two episodes for the 2003-04 season. The network has also asked the show's executive producers, Chuck Bangert and Lou Gorfain of New Screen Concepts, to produce two stand-alone one-hour specials that will air this season.
Extreme Makeover has greatly improved ABC's ratings performance in one of the most competitive hours on television (Thursdays 9-10 PM) and is credited with helping the network begin to establish a beachhead on Thursday evenings, a night which has traditionally been a two-horse race between NBC and CBS for the last several years.
In the first six weeks of the season, Extreme Makeover boosted ABC's totals in the hour by 3.6 million viewers (8.1 million vs. 4.5 million) and by 114% among Adults 18-49 (3.0/7 vs. 1.4/3) over the same point a year ago, the largest time period increases of any show on any network this season. On average Extreme Makeover builds 50% among Adults 18-49 from its first half-hour to its second-half -- the largest build from start to finish for any TV show this season in the key adult demo.
"Week after week, Chuck and Lou deliver a show that is absolutely riveting," said Andrea Wong, ABC's senior vice president of Alternative Series and Specials. "The physical changes are so astoundingly dramatic, and the alterations in each person's life are so profound, viewers simply cannot take their eyes off the show, and neither can we. We're ordering the full season so we can keep them working on a rare series that can do well virtually anywhere on our schedule."
Lou Gorfain added: "The stars are the candidates who leave home and loved ones for months at a time, literally putting their lives in our hands. For them this isn't Reality TV, it's Real Life. We feel privileged to tell their stories." Chuck Bangert echoed that appreciation: "The key players on the Extreme Makeover team are the doctors, fitness experts, and fashion, hair and makeup artists who transform our candidates each week. They create the magic. We just capture it."