DIY Adds Fixer-Uppers to 2010 Show Lineup

DIY Network will roll out 25 new original series in 2010, hoping the shows will entertain and educate homeowners looking to spruce up their properties.

The Scripps Networks outlet also hopes to improve on the 101,000 viewers it averaged in primetime last year.

With the home-buying market slowly rebounding from a disastrous sales decline in 2008-09, the network's home-improvement programming should help with viewership levels, senior vice president and general manager Kathleen Finch said.

“The fact that people are beginning to buy homes again and people are buying homes that need work, we feel that DIY is poised to be at the front of that for a lot of people,” she said.

Among the 25 new shows set to debut this year include I Hate Your House, in which renovation experts fix eyesore areas within people's homes; Garage Mahal, in which homeowners get their garages pimped up; and Rescue Renovation, in which series host Kayleen McCabe saves homeowners in over their heads with their renovations.

The network will also address the financial side of home ownership with Money Hunters, a new series in which show hosts help people renovate while staying within a budget, said Finch.

DIY will also invite viewers to participate in several new shows, including Run My Renovation, where consumers vote via to determine the best way to renovate a room in a volunteer's home. The series is an extension of the network's long-running Blog Cabin, in which a log cabin is built based the Internet votes of DIY viewers.

“These very brave homeowners are giving us a renovation project in their home and allowing our online users to completely make the decision,” she said. “The homeowners have no say in the decision — we're really excited about it.”

The network will also run several programming stunts throughout the year, including one tailored to the upcoming Super Bowl. The “Toilet Bowl” stunt — airing on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 7 — includes an all-day marathon of bathroom renovation-oriented shows such as BATHtastic!, Bathroom Renovations, Bath Crashers and 10 Killer Bathroom Projects.

Another stunt coincides with the March Madness college-basketball tournament season. “Mulch Madness,” beginning March 6, is a week-long marathon of original landscaping shows including Desperate Landscapes, King of Dirt, Indoors Out and Yard Crashers, as well as the debut of a new series, Turf War. In that show, landscaping expert Ahmed Hassan (pictured l.) pits two teams of neighboring homeowners against each other to see who can best overhaul their yards in two days.

“At the end of the day, the network is about one thing, and that's home improvement,” she said. “What we do is parse it out as best we can.”

DIY is hoping to engage upscale, advertiser friendly 25-to-54-year-old viewers who have the means to pay for landscaping and home renovations, but who choose to do the work themselves.

“We are an entertaining network, but we are first and foremost a network that provides utility for homeowners,” she said. “We really think we're in the right spot at the right time.”

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.