Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: Wikis


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Extreme Makeover: Home Edition
Extreme Makeover Home Edition Logo.jpg
Format Reality television series
Starring Ty Pennington
Paul DiMeo
Alle Ghadban
Paige Hemmis
Tracy Hutson
Daniel Kucan
Tanya McQueen
Michael Moloney
Constance Ramos
Ed Sanders
Preston Sharp
Eduardo Xol
John Littlefield
Rib Hillis
Didiayer Snyder
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 7
No. of episodes 162 [1] (List of episodes)
Producer(s) Endemol
Running time 43 minutes
Original channel ABC
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
Original run February 15, 2004 (2004-02-15) – present
External links
Official website

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (EM:HE) is a reality television series providing home renovations for deserving families, hosted by Ty Pennington.

Each episode features a family that has faced some sort of recent or ongoing hardship – such as a natural disaster or a family member with a life-threatening illness. The show's producers coordinate with a local construction contractor, which then coordinates with various companies in the building trades for a makeover of the family's home. That includes interior, exterior and landscaping, which is performed in seven days while the family is on vacation (paid for by the show's producers), which is documented in the episode. If the house is beyond repair, they replace it entirely. The show's producers and crew film set and perform the makeover but do not pay for it. The materials and labor are donated. Many skilled and unskilled volunteers assist in the rapid construction of the house.

EM:HE is considered a spinoff of Extreme Makeover, an earlier series providing personal makeovers (often including plastic surgery) to selected individuals, which the Home Edition has now outlasted. This show displays extreme changes to help recreate someone's space. However, the format differs considerably; in the original Extreme Makeover, for instance, participants were not necessarily chosen based on any recent hardship, whereas the family's backstory is an important component of Home Edition. EM:HE also has similarities to other home renovation series such as Trading Spaces, on which Pennington was previously a key personality.

The series is produced by Endemol USA (the people behind Big Brother, Fear Factor, Deal or No Deal, and other reality shows) in association with Disney-ABC Television Group's Greengrass Television.



Extreme Makeover: Home Edition premiered as a thirteen-part special on Monday November 3, 2003, and had its official series premiere on Sunday February 15, 2004. It is currently one of ABC's top-rated series and has become far more popular than the original Extreme Makeover, which struggled in the ratings through its last two seasons and quietly ended with its episodes burned off wholesale in July 2007. The show ranked 41st in its first season, averaging 10.6 million viewers per episode, with the pilot episode bringing in 12 million viewers. however its ratings soared thereafter with the second season entering the top 20, finishing 15th for the year, averaging 15.8 million viewers per episode. The next four seasons each ranked at least in the top 30, with seasons two and three ranking in the top 20, and seasons four and five ranking in the top 25. The sixth season, however, fell out of the top 35, and ranked only 38th, hitting an all-time low of only 10.3 million viewers per episode.[2] Series reruns began airing on TV Land on Tuesday August 7, 2007, making it the youngest non-original show to air on the network. Reruns also air on CMT

The show is hosted by Ty Pennington, formerly a carpenter on the show Trading Spaces. The series is devoted to rebuilding families' homes when the family is in need of new hope.

During the 2005–2006 season, the show went to areas hit by Hurricane Katrina and helped communities to rebuild themselves with help from other organizations.

The show also had a series of specials that later became a regular series during the 2004–2005 television season entitled Extreme Makeover Home Edition: How’d They Do That? It was a short-lived spin-off of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition that featured extra behind-the-scenes footage of what had happened in that week's episode.

The show has been renewed by ABC for the 2009-2010 television season[3], and there are plans to begin broadcasting the show in HD at some point.


Two episodes in two different cities are shot at the same time (a few days apart), using two different production crews. There are also two groups of designers. Ty Pennington flies back and forth from the cities to do the "door knock", the braveheart march, and the reveal, as well as to finish up work on his projects, which he mentions and gives walk-throughs in his magazine. The amount of work that Ty and the design team put into the house itself and the projects they take on depends mostly on the amount of filming needed to be done. In some circumstances, such as with relatively smaller makeovers or makeovers scheduled to be two-hour episodes, the lead designers lay out a general idea for their projects, and the show's backup designers take over. Generally, the lead designers are notified in advance of the makeover recipients in order for them to start the plans for their projects ahead of time. At several makeovers, they have been criticized for never doing any work at all, and just being there to put on a show. In 2007, during the makeover for the Carter Family in Billings, Montana, a local radio DJ accused Pennington of using a spray can of grease on his face to make it look like he was really working, only to be confronted over the air by Pennington himself, who called in from the construction site.[4] The largest piece of evidence to prove the design team's contribution to the house and the family is a severe hand injury which Ed Sanders [1] received during a makeover in Ohio in 2006 for the family of Jason Thomas, the ex-marine partially responsible for the rescuing of two Port Authority police officers from the rubble of the World Trade Center following the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks. While creating a wood carving of the American flag, Sanders removed part of the guard for a hand-held wood grinder, which led to him slicing one of his hands open.[5] Sanders took a leave of absence for nearly an entire season to recover. Pennington works on the show over 240 days out of the year, while the remaining designers work in shifts. Production crew members work for two weeks, then are off for one week. This is only for a few months out of the year. The show is usually being shot in June and goes through March or April. April and May is when the crew is mostly off unless they are shooting a pre-season episode. Location managers work constantly, often spending a month in a city before selecting it as the next site.


ABC receives thousands of applications from families in need and many of them say that it is extremely hard to filter through the stories and choose only one of them. The families they look for must meet two criteria: First, they must be truly deserving and in need of the makeover, and second, they must be the kind of people who give something of themselves back to their community. The main theme of the show is advocacy, as each family that is selected helps to address a wide range of issues in American society.

The majority of episodes are one hour; however, in some instances (mainly if complications are involved, or if the makeover involves more than just the family home) the episode will be a two-parter and will start at 7 PM Eastern Time (one hour ahead of its normal 8 PM Eastern Time slot). In the UK, some of the two-hour episodes air as one single program instead of as two separate parts.

Most shows in the first three seasons begin with a shot of Pennington in the team's bus saying, "I'm Ty Pennington, and the renovation starts right now!" The exception is those episodes which feature a guest host in his place.

In the fourth and fifth seasons, the opening shot is of Ty in a location iconic of the state the episode was in, and a declaration of what state the episode is in is added to the tagline. Then, the chosen family is briefly profiled; their nomination video is shown to the team (and to the television audience).

Ty then brings the team together in a huddle and leads them in a chant of "Let's do it!" Next, Ty and the design team visit the family's home and proceed to give the family a "wake-up call" (courtesy of Ty's infamous bullhorn) by shouting "Good Morning [family's name] family!" then introducing each family member. The team will then go throughout the house, finding out about the family's interests as design inspiration.

The family will then be sent off on a one-week vacation (where applicable, airfare is provided by Southwest Airlines, whose involvement is noted at the end of the show) while the house is renovated or demolished, depending on its condition and the family's needs. (One episode in season three did not include a vacation because the family's daughter was in isolation at a local hospital).[6] As the family is taking vacation, they receive video messages via computer laptop from Pennington's camera. (The videos displayed on the laptop are superimposed on broadcasts to avoid both screen glare and the requirement of paying advertising royalties on the software used in the videos).

Beginning with Season 3, the demolitions have become quite creative; the team has used falling trees, tanks, and even monster trucks to accomplish the task where needed. In 2007, they used dynamite to blow up one family's old house in Wyoming.

A local home builder (sometimes two builders) and community volunteers begin basic work (electrical, plumbing, roofing, and, if the house is demolished, framing a new one) while the design team begins designing the creative aspects of the house. Once the basic work is completed, the design team then will add the finishing touches. Ty selects a portion of the house to be his "secret room" (except in the case when the secret project takes place in the backyard), which no one is allowed to view prior to final reveal (with one exception in Season 4, which involved a commercial kitchen; the health inspector had to approve the kitchen and issue the permit before it could be used). Shows often feature design team members making a trip to a local Sears store as well as special guest appearances.

At the end of the week, the family returns to their home to see cheering crowds and the view of their home blocked by a bus (for larger projects, two buses would block the home). When Ty and the family give the order, originally, "Bus driver, hit it!" and later the much more famous, "Bus driver, move that bus!!" (or "those buses!!"), (Note: In the first two episodes, Ty and the family walked around the bus to reveal the new house) the family sees the end result of the team's efforts. Pennington's "secret room" is usually the last item featured on the show. Often, a child's bedroom (usually to a special-needs patient), the parent's master bedroom or a business room receives Pennington's special attention. Some episodes feature special gifts given to the family by outside parties.


Cast Role
Ty Pennington Host/Design Team Leader/Carpentry
Paul DiMeo Carpentry
Paige Hemmis Carpentry
Tracy Hutson Shopping/Style
Tanya McQueen Interior Design
Michael Moloney Interior Design/Glamour
Ed Sanders Carpentry
Preston Sharp Exteriors/Big Ideas (left show after season 4)
Eduardo Xol Landscaping
John Littlefield Carpentry
Constance Ramos Architect (left show during season 3)
Rib Hillis Carpentry
Didiayer Snyder Design
Dawson Connor Design (left show after season 1)
Alle Ghadban Design (left show after season 1)
Daniel Kucan Interior Design (left show during season 3)


Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: How'd They Do That? was a short-lived spinoff that featured extra behind-the-scenes footage of what had happened in that week's episode.

"After The Storm"

Beginning on March 23, 2006 (a Thursday), ABC featured a four-week special episode series, "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition – After The Storm". The series featured the rebuilding (in part) of communities destroyed by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma. See below for episode listings.

Reaction and criticism

Since the show premiered in November 2003, one of the show's strongest supporters has been the Parents Television Council which gave the show its "Seal of Approval", and has also named it the most family-friendly series on network television on its website since the show's second season. The show is praised for promoting positive and optimistic ideals such as helping others in need, and thinking of others. At every makeover, thousands of people participate by donating their time, money, and help. By the beginning of the show's seventh season, an estimated 500,000 Americans have helped with the show.

However, while the show has usually earned positive reviews and even earned two Emmy Awards, it has often been criticized by more conservative viewers for unnecessary contributions and glorifying excessive suburban lifestyles, such as in a Mother Jones article that questioned giving a 6-bedroom, 7-bath, 7-television house to a family of 4 in Kingston, WA.[7] However, it was deemed appropriate since the family was using the house as a Bed & Breakfast Inn as well.

In an e-mail sent March 10, 2006, from an ABC employee to network affiliates, the program's casting agent details the exact kind of tragedies and rare illnesses being sought.[8]

Another criticism aimed at the show, surrounds financial matters that some of the families have had after receiving the home makeover. The majority of which have been found to be either over-exaggerated or not true. The most widespread allegation is that most of the families have sold their houses due to their inability to pay for them, and that some have even gone into foreclosure. Though as of November 2009, three of the 150+ families helped by the show no longer reside in the houses given to them. Two of the families, the Herbert and Hassall Families, sold their houses voluntarily, while the third family, the Harper Family, did lose their house to foreclosure, but not because they could not afford it. The family decided to start a Construction business and in order to secure the loan needed to do so, they placed the house they received up as collateral with their bank. Due to the recent recession, the business failed, and the house was auctioned off. A few other families, including the Wofford, Vardon and Marrero families have had some struggles, and most resources specifically point out that most of the financial struggles have little to do with the show or the makeover. Most, like with millions of other American families, are due to the recent recession.[9][10][11]

Five children filed a lawsuit against ABC after they were evicted by a family that had taken them in before the show came to renovate the family's house. The five kids "say that the producers took advantage of the family's hard-luck story and promised them new cars and other prizes to persuade them to participate in the program", according to the LA Times.[12] On July 17, 2007, Judge Paul Gutman ruled against the siblings, stating that the plaintiffs failed to prove their case.[13] The lawsuit has since been overturned.

Questions arose when Theresa "Momi" Akana was picked for the Extreme Makeover program for Hawaii. The Honolulu Advertiser investigated their tax records and found out that both she and her husband made over $100,000 each in salary. Denise Cramsey, the executive producer of the show, responded with "I think Momi certainly fits the bill." She defended the pick, stating that they look beyond financial situation, and look into other factors, including family plight and contributions to the community.[14]

In 2006, Extreme Makeover Home Edition tore down Brian and Michelle Hassal's once modest Harrison County home and built the new sizable one in its place. Months later, the couple put their nearly brand new, donated home up for sale. The Hassals said the decision to sell their extreme home "wasn't an easy one", but they realized it was necessary due to rising medical bills.[15]

American television ratings

Seasonal rankings (based on average total viewers per episode) of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on ABC.

Season Season premiere Season finale TV season Ranking Viewers
(in millions)
November 3, 2003 July 18, 2004 2003–2004 #41 10.63
September 26, 2004 May 22, 2005 2004–2005 #15 15.75
August 14, 2005 May 16, 2006 2005–2006 #19 14.71
September 17, 2006 May 20, 2007 2006–2007 #25 13.15
September 30, 2007 May 18, 2008 2007–2008 #22 12.89
September 28, 2008 May 17, 2009 2008–2009 #38 10.26
September 27, 2009 May, 2010 2009–2010



  1. ^ Total includes specials
  2. ^ "Ty ties up DUI charge". E! News. http://www.eonline.com/uberblog/archive.jsp?uuid=8703ee6d-8ff2-4628-a1f9-bba2fc74843a.  
  3. ^ "Fall TV Scorecard: Which Shows Are Returning? Which Aren't?". TVGuide.com. http://www.tvguide.com/News/Fall-TV-Schedule-1005618.aspx. Retrieved 2009-04-30.  
  4. ^ http://www.tmz.com/2007/07/10/ty-takes-on-radio-taunter-im-no-jackass/print
  5. ^ January 22, 2007 Entry http://www.edsanders.net/ownWords.html
  6. ^ Extreme Makeover: Home Edition: The Official Companion Book
  7. ^ "This New House". Mother Jones. March 2005. http://www.motherjones.com/news/exhibit/2005/03/exhibit.html. Retrieved 2007-06-04. "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition recently gave a 6-bedroom, 7-bath, 7-television house to a family of 4."  
  8. ^ "ABC's "Extreme" Exploitation". The Smoking Gun. March 27, 2006. http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0327062extreme1.html. Retrieved 2007-06-04. "Makeover show loves sick kids, cancer patients, hate crime victims"  
  9. ^ http://www.cdapress.com/articles/2009/02/17/news/news04.txt
  10. ^ http://www.pamil-visions.net/wofford-family-needs-new-makeover/28869/
  11. ^ http://www.10news.com/news/21968317/detail.html
  12. ^ Dehnart, Andy (August 11, 2005). "Orphans sue ABC, family over Extreme Makeover: Home Edition episode". Reality Blurred. http://www.realityblurred.com/realitytv/archives/extreme_makeover_home_edition/2005_Aug_11_abc_sued.  
  13. ^ "Judge rejects `Extreme Makeover' lawsuit". http://overlawyered.com/2007/07/update-judge-rejects-extreme-makeover-lawsuit/.  
  14. ^ Daysog (July 2, 2007). "'Makeover' home recipient earns $100K". Honolulu Advertiser. http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2007/Jul/02/ln/FP707020351.html. Retrieved 2007-12-20.  
  15. ^ Family Featured In 'Extreme Home Makeover' Show Selling Home, Lex 18, May 7, 2009.

External links

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