HGTV Lineup Digs Up 16 New Series

Home & Garden Television executives are making the presentation rounds to advertising agencies here and in other markets, talking up a spate of new series and specials as part of the network’s plans for the 2004-05 TV season.

All told, the Scripps Networks service, looking to maintain its viewership momentum, will roll out 16 new series, fresh installments from current shows and some 50 specials in an original programming lineup that will span more than 1,100 hours, according to president Burton Jablin.

During the first quarter, HGTV equaled its best-ever primetime mark, averaging a 0.9 household rating — a 13% improvement over the corresponding year-earlier period.

“We’ve enjoyed 15 consecutive months of ratings increases in primetime year over year, strengthening our position as a leading cable network and a favorite in the home-and-lifestyle category,” said Jablin in a statement. “However, we keep doing our homework and constantly ask ourselves what more we can do to appeal to audiences and bring value to our partners. This new slate of programming represents the culmination of recent successes as well as the continued evolution of the HGTV brand.”

Designer Finals will be the first of the new series to hit the screen. Bowing August 14 at 9 p.m., the show, hosted by Penn Holderness, will square off design students in a real-life test: a makeover for a homeowner requiring a flexible plan and a minimal budget.

Moving into the fourth quarter, HGTV will take the wraps off reDesign, featuring frequent network guest Kenneth Brown as the host of a new series in which he shares his inventive-yet-tasteful takes on design; and Generation Renovation, which will track the remakes of older homes, lofts and condos into highly stylized personal residences.

Other series in the pipeline include: Cash in the Attic, a half-hour trek through the treasure-trove of items found in that usually neglected room upstairs, with proceeds earmarked for building something new in the home, or upgrading extant facilities; Crafters: Coast to Coast, during which visits will be made to the homes of three prominent crafters; and American Home 2005, a magazine show that will put the spotlight on the latest and greatest products and ideas.

The network also plans new installments of Designed to Sell, Divine Design and Design on a Dime.

As for specials, The Dish on Kitchens will trace the history and culture attached to such items as the ice block refrigerator and Veg-O-Matic, while I Love Him Anyway (working title) is a humorous examination of hammer-heavy husbands who have turned house projects into disasters.

Elsewhere, HGTV will explore some of the most unusual homes in the United Kingdom and on the Continent with Extreme Homes of Europe.

In Color Czars (working title), HGTV will not only answer questions like whether avocado is due for a big return, or if pink will be all the rage again, but sit down with the people who make the calls.