ABC announces new 'Extreme Makeover' spinoff to premiere in January... and another on the way
By Reality TV World staff, 11/21/2004
It looks like ABC has found its own reality version of NBC and CBS's ever-expanding Law & Order and CSI franchises. The alphabet network has announced that starting in January it will be adding a third weekly Extreme Makeover series to its lineup -- the double-coloned Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: How'd They Do That? spinoff of its smash-hit Extreme Makeover: Home Edition series.
Based on a successful pilot episode that ABC aired in the place of its cancelled The Benefactor series on November 1, How'd They Do That? will show viewers how Ty Pennington and his Extreme Makeover: Home Edition team of designers, workers and contractors are able to change the lives of deserving families as they rebuild the entire interior and exterior of a run-down house in just seven days. The November 1 pilot broadcast drew ABC's highest ratings in the Adults 18-49 demographic in the Monday 8PM time period in nearly three years.
Premiering Monday, January 10 in the same 8PM ET/PT time period, the How'd They Do That? regular series will feature behind-the-scenes footage and information from the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition episode that aired in the series prior day Sunday evening time period.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: How'd They Do That? marks ABC's second Extreme Makeover spinoff. Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, now in its second season, was itself of spinoff Extreme Makeover, the network's plastic surgery series that currently airs on Thursday evenings versus Survivor. And if ABC has it's way, it also won't be the last.
The network has already announced plans for Extreme Makeover: Wedding Edition, an upcoming one-hour special that, like How'd They Do That?, ABC executives hope will serve as a pilot for a fourth ongoing regular series. "I think it's a pretty logical extension of the Extreme Makeover brand," ABC executive Andrea Wong recently told Daily Variety. "It's about wish fulfillment (and) giving something great to someone at an important moment in their life."
ABC's increasing exploitation of its Extreme Makeover series makes one wonder if network executives have already forgotten how the resurgent network first got itself into the lengthy ratings slump from which it is now only starting to recover (due to, in no small part, first-year hits Desperate Housewives, Lost, Wife Swap, and the dramatic second season growth of Home Edition.) The tailspin came after viewers lost interest in another unscripted series with which the network had oversaturated its schedule -- Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.