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Flipping Out
Promo for Flipping Out
Genre Reality
Starring Jeff Lewis
Narrated by Jeff Lewis, Jenni Pulos, Ryan Brown
Country of origin United States
No. of seasons 3
No. of episodes 18 (as of October 27, 2009)
Executive producer(s) Billy Taylor
Producer(s) Authentic Entertainment
Location(s) Los Angeles, CA
Running time 60 minutes
Original channel Bravo (re-run on CNBC)
Original run 31 July 2008 – present
External links
Official website

Flipping Out is a reality television series on Bravo, and re-aired on sister network CNBC. The show is centered on real estate investor Jeff Lewis in Los Angeles, California and first Aired in the States in 2007, and subsequently in Australia on September 4 2009 on Arena. The series features Lewis, his entourage that consists of his CEA (Chief Executive Assistant) Jenni, housekeeper Zoila, assistant(s) and helper(s), and the houses that he works to buy and sell for profit.[1] The show completed its third season on Bravo and is part of an extended series of shows that have included Blow Out and Work Out.



Jeff Lewis

Lewis was born 24 March 1970 in Orange County, California, and is a 1988 graduate of Mater Dei High School. He attended both the University of Southern California and Chapman University where he was Pre-Law and Political Science major. After graduating from college in 1993, Lewis began working for a real estate agent. In 1999, Lewis began his current occupation as a real-estate speculator. He purchases properties, sometimes for over a million dollars each, and then renovates them to sell for a profit.[2] Jeff is openly gay, and formerly had a relationship with his business partner Ryan Brown. The New York Times called Jeff "a man balancing multiple mortgages like bricks on a noodle."[3] In 2008 he started "Jeff Lewis Design" and in 2009 launched a line of home furnishings he designed on QVC.[4]

Lewis speaks openly about his living with obsessive–compulsive personality disorder and the show often highlights how this manifests in his business dealings. Lewis is shown obsessing over his three dogs and two cats, has several psychics and mediums, and performs exorcisms for his houses. He sees a therapist and does "scream therapy," to release stress.[5]

Jeff's youngest brother, Todd is engaged to Carrie, the realtor. According to Jeff, the two knew each other before she became one of his realtors.

Jenni Pulos

Pulos was born in Portland, Oregon, and grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona. She played tennis competitively in high school. She attended the University of California, Los Angeles as a Theater & Film major and a Political Science minor. Pulos intended to play tennis for UCLA, but later invested her time in acting. Pulos considers herself to be an actress, voice actress, and rapper. She married another one of Lewis' assistants, Chris Elwood, and was referred to as 'Jenni Pulos Elwood' throughout the first two seasons until the two divorced. Pulos has had many minor roles in television, including Monk, Charmed, and Moesha.[6]

Pulos refers to herself as Lewis' executive administrative assistant and often refers to Lewis as "crazy" due to his obsessive-compulsive tendencies, but also admits that many geniuses are crazy. Pulos has complained that Lewis treats his animals better than his assistants. Lewis often gives preferential treatment to Pulos and considers her his best assistant, evidenced by the fact that she has only been suspended once. Lewis says that "she is really the only person that stands up to me," and he apparently respects that. Her husband Chris worked for Lewis before Pulos was hired, but she quickly rose up the ladder. From the start of the first season, Pulos maintains that a good portion of her job is to entertain Lewis; some of her first footage on the show is of her dancing foolishly in the driveway to make Lewis laugh. Any series of tasks that Pulos refuses to do are delegated to second and third assistants. While the assistants are required to clean feces, which somehow always finds itself in the homes, Pulos has never had to perform this task.

Lewis and Pulos' relationship can be viewed as slightly out of the norm; they share a platonic friendship. Pulos refuses to tell Lewis where she lives because she fears he might track her down and invade her privacy, which Lewis admits he would. When Pulos withholds information about her private life, Lewis says worriedly that his "first reaction is that she might break up with me". According to Lewis their relationship has been strengthened.[7]

He was undoubtedly concerned about her welfare during the previous months that recall Lewis' firing of Chris Elwood during episode 205, "Tear Down"[8] and his later discovery that Pulos and Chris were getting a divorce. According to "Closer Inspection," "Tear Down," the season reunion special Lewis believed his undeniable proof of Chris' disregard of his duties would hurt not only Pulos but Lewis' relationship with her. He agonized over what decision he should make.[7][9]

Ryan Brown

Ryan grew up in Oxnard, California and attended school at the University of California, San Diego where he majored in Neuroscience, intending to one day go to medical school. He later changed his plans, moved to Europe, and became a fashion photographer. Upon returning to Los Angeles he entered the interior design business. Besides running an interior design firm, Ryan also engages in full-scale residential development, as well as the restoration and refurbishing of homes in the Los Angeles area.

Chris Elwood

Chris was born in Columbus, Georgia, moved to Atlanta after graduating from high school, where he began acting and married his first wife. He later divorced his wife and moved to Los Angeles to pursue acting where he met Jenni. Chris is mostly recognized as one of the wingmen on Ashton Kutcher's MTV show Punk'd. Chris commented on the series that while most people expect him not to be doing the kind of work he's doing for Jeff, he needs some extra income to supplement his acting career.

In Season 1, Chris was effectively referred to as the "Trash Guy" or the "third house assistant." It was his job to clean up the job sites. In Season 2, Chris is the "House Manager," meaning that he sees that Jeff's residence is in working order. Every day, he is given a long list of tasks, which he and the "second house assistant" must complete. Throughout both seasons, Chris's standing responsibility is to take care of the animals and to maintain security around the house.

As both Chris and Jenni are in the acting business, they often push aside their duties in favor of acting opportunities, which subsequently gets Jeff upset. Jeff has fired Chris multiple times, but he always has re-hired him. Near the end of Season 2, Jeff officially fires Chris, followed by Jenni and Chris's divorce.

Chris Keslar

Keslar joins the cast during the second season, replacing Steve Bowman who had an antagonistic relationship with Lewis. He is the brother of Project Runway 3's Angela Keslar and an Ivy League graduate (Penn). Keslar stated in the first episode that he would like to break into the design and real estate markets and that he viewed working for Lewis as a type of apprenticeship. Keslar often found himself the butt of Lewis' sense of humor. Keslar was once instructed to take a Los Angeles public bus home after taking Lewis' car to the autobody shop. Another time, after forgetting to ask for guacamole for Lewis' lunch, he was instructed to steal avocados so replacement guacamole could be made. During a three-month review, Lewis' employees stated that Keslar was dedicated, pro-active and a hard worker. Lewis himself stated that Keslar had a nice personality which was often the kiss of death when working for him. In the last episode, Keslar resigned, in part because of the poor treatment given to him and in part because there was no hope of job growth. In the end, Lewis says that to work for him a person needs to be dysfunctional. He tells Keslar that he thinks he's just "too healthy" to work for him.


Jett joined the cast in the second season finale. He was the first person interviewed to replace Keslar and was hired almost immediately, after being asked a series of peculiar questions by Jenni and Lewis involving his behavior such as whether or nor he uses the bathroom frequently, and whether or not he can admit he is wrong even if he knows he is right. Lewis says he hired Jett because he was the first good looking person to walk in the door and the only one who had no real interest in the business. Lewis stated that they are shallow because they tend to only hire good looking people to work for them.[7]

According to the reunion special (season 2) it appears from Lewis' and Jenni's perspectives that he's doing a really good job. He finishes the entire list early, and doesn't complain.[10]

Zoila Chavez

Zoila was born in Nicaragua and lived the early duration of her life there. She married and raised two daughters. In 1987, when her daughters had grown up, Zoila divorced her husband and moved to the United States. She began cleaning Lewis' home, then was persuaded to become a live-in housekeeper. Zoila became a citizen of the United States in 1996 and lives here with several of her brothers and sisters.

In addition to Jenni, Zoila is Lewis' favorite employee and serves as a surrogate mother to Lewis. Zoila has shown patience with Lewis' eccentricities and became more firm with Lewis once she gained her citizenship. As of 2009 she is attending school, which Lewis sometimes fears inhibits his ability to control her.

Zoila sometimes jokingly displays a lack of work ethic, often asking for time off but never getting it. Even for her birthday, she was denied the weekend off. Lewis' infamous reaction, which was played several times on various media shows including The Soup was, "Didn't you just get off for Christmas? Now you want another holiday off?" and, in a talking head, "She wanted all of Saturday and she wanted all of Friday. Well, what am I going to do? Who's going to do my laundry? Who's going to make me breakfast? She's so selfish." Rather than the weekend off as she preferred and postponing her birthday for another weekend as Lewis preferred, she is given an oil painting of herself which is decidedly unflattering. The painting later went up for auction on, and was sold for over $10,000.[11]

The pets

According to seasons one and two Lewis has five pets-three dogs and two cats- that frequently make appearances on the show.[10][12] The pets are treated quite well contrasted to the employees on the show. For instance, the animals are seen getting therapy, acupuncture, visits with pet psychics, and one of Lewis' assistants is always there to attend to their needs.

  • Oliver - The fourth pet and second dog in the Lewis household. He is a stray dog of unknown breeding, possibly a Corgi mix, which Lewis found at the dog park and took in. Jeff's pet psychic says that Oliver's previous owner loved him very much but had to let him go to give him a better life. Jeff says that Oliver is the most affectionate pet and was already perfectly house-trained when adopted; according to Lewis, he is also apparently best friends with Casey.
  • Casey - Lewis' third pet and first dog, happens to be a pit bull mix. Casey is not as well house-trained as Oliver and often has accidents in the house, which the delegated pet assistant, formerly Chris Elwood, sometimes fails to notice. Lewis said he found her in a pet adoption place while driving around and when he came back to see her at the end of the day, all the pets had been adopted but her; Lewis feels that there is a definite reason why but cannot decide if the adoption was fate or a mistake. Jeff says that Casey is spoiled and slow to learn; it took three years and seven thousand dollars for her to learn to sit.
  • Stewie - Lewis' second pet, a cat, and six-years-old. He is Seal Point Peke-faced Himalayan and the exact opposite personality of Monkey. Lewis says that he is the least friendly of all the pets and is very selective with his affection. The cat will only let Lewis touch him; assistant Steve Bowman was often forced to use a broom to push the antagonistic cat from one room to the other. Lewis compares him to Garfield because he is lazy, and only eats and sleeps all day rather than playing like the other animals.
  • Monkey - Lewis' first pet, a cat, and seven and a half years old. He was a gift from Ryan while he and Jeff were dating. He is a rare Blue Point Peke-faced Himalayan. Jeff describes him as a mischievous prankster and has the best sense of humor of all the pets. Jeff's pet psychic says he's very imaginative and creative, and as a result, holds the delusion that he is an outside cat. Monkey is very valuable so Jeff won't let him outside for fear of petnappers. Monkey is very sickly so Jeff treats him to a variety of expensive medical attention, including holistic doctors; at least fifteen to twenty thousand dollars has been spent on Monkey's physical ailments. The kitchen sink is left constantly running in a slight stream so Monkey may drink from it.
  • "Little" Chris - Chris is the newest pet and the third dog, and was adopted after the first season. He was named after Chris Elwood. He is not house trained, and often comes in conflict with the other dogs, particularly Casey.


Ben Lomond

Lewis purchased the Ben Lomond property in Los Feliz for $975,000. The Ben Lomond property eventually sold for $1,349,000 after Lewis had lowered the price drastically after failing to sell the property for months. Lewis moved in to Ben Lomond at the end of the first season of the series and spent most of the second season living there.[13]


The Commonwealth property is a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house located in Los Angeles. Lewis originally paid $863,000 for the 1,938 square foot house.[14 ] The house was featured during the end of the first season. Lewis bought the house after other real estate speculators had failed to improve the property after finding serious structural deficiencies. Lewis lived in this house during the taping of the second season of the series. The house was eventually sold for $1,595,000.[15]


After Lewis quit the Hancock Park job, he was brought on as a consultant to remodel a home in Encino.

Hancock Park (Lorraine)

The Lorraine property is otherwise known as the Dorothy Chandler Mansion or where the late philanthropist lived out the last few years of her life before she died. The house was also once known as the "Western White House". As Lewis states in the second season opener, he had worked on this project as a consultant, earning himself and Brown a salary of $25,000 a month to supervise the remodeling of the mansion. The mansion was purchased by Joe and Courtney Handleman for $8,070,000.[16] Lewis quit Lorraine after a disagreement about hiring contractors in the second episode of the second season.


The Nottingham property was purchased for $2,260,000. It, was by far, the largest house that Lewis had flipped. Brown had lived in the house after he won a bet with Lewis that was featured in the series. The property sold for $4,350,000.[14 ]

Valley Oak One

The Valley Oak One property was initially featured as the first property that Lewis lived in during the series. The house was purchased for $1,400,000 [17] and after being renovated by Lewis it was initially listed at $3,195,000 and then reduced twice until it sold for $2,595,000.[18]

Valley Oak Two

The Valley Oak Two property was featured in Season 2 of the series as the second property that Lewis "flipped" on Valley Oak Drive in Los Feliz. Lewis purchased the house for $1,710,000 in March 2007. Valley Oak Two was notable on the series, because the owner that Lewis had purchased it from had refused to vacate the premises after the transaction took place. Lewis began demolition even while the former owner was still living there. After completing the renovation, the property was put on the market at $3,195,000, reduced to $2,995,000 and then eventually taken off the market. Lewis lives at Valley Oak Two in Season 3.[19]


According to the episode, "Looks Like New," Jeff has a fifty percent stake in the house which happens to have five rental units.[20]


This property was purchased by Jeff on the Season 2 finale for $1 million. It will be his new home in Season 3. He joked during the inspection that Zoila would be sleeping in the basement, where the gas valves are located. It was listed at $1,395,000 and sold in early January 2009 for $1,300,000.[15]


Jeff decided at the conclusion of the season two finale he would become a renter (which he says is against his 'religion') for at least four to eight weeks, in an effort to have stability as well as (according to him) it being his 'vacation.' [7] During his interview with the landlord, he lies and states he has no pets.

According to the same episode Jenni deemed that his moving into the house is a great move for Jeff, since he wants to slow down a little bit.[7]


This was a remodel for "Jackie" in Season 3, of a 60-70's Spanish house in Bel Air, CA. Jeff quotes this to be "One of the most expensive zip codes in los Angeles." The budget was $100,000. After many problems with Jackie not paying for her remodel on time, Jeff paid the contractors out of his own pocket until she could come up with the money. The house is now completed and Jeff and his workers were finally compensated.


This is an ongoing $750,000 remodel for Cole's salon in Season 3.

Season 3

Season 3 is currently in development as of Jan 12, 2009 and is expected to finish productions early summer for airing on August 17, 2009. Bravo (US TV network) cited this on their Flipping Out page at BravoTV

Reactions to the series

The series premiered to critical acclaim on the network. A few celebrities support Lewis' OCD-nature including Ellen Degeneres[21] and Rosie O'Donnell[22].

See also

External links


  1. ^ Larsen, Peter (2007-08-13). "TV's 'Flipping Out' star began flipping in O.C.". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2007-08-15.  
  2. ^ Iverson, Chris (2007-07-31). "“Reality TV” and real estate". 3 Oceans Real Estate. Retrieved 2007-08-10.  
  3. ^ "A Los Angeles Speculator Sold on Himself". New York Times. Retrieved 2007-08-10.  
  4. ^ 21 August 2009., Wendy Williams Show interview with Lewis and assistant Jenny.
  5. ^ Price-Robinson, Kathy. "Pardon our Dust: A tribute to men who remodel kitchens". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2007-08-10.  
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ a b c d e [2]
  8. ^ [3]
  9. ^ [4]
  10. ^ a b [5]
  11. ^ [6]
  12. ^ [7]
  13. ^ "Jeff Lewis is Flipping Out". The Real Estalker. Retrieved 2008-06-27.  
  14. ^ a b "Jeff Lewis Strikes Again". The Real Estalker. Retrieved 2008-06-27.  
  15. ^ a b "Jeff Lewis is Back in the Saddle Sort of". The Real Estalker. Retrieved 2009-10-09.  
  16. ^ "Chandler family's Beaux Arts mansion has been sold". Big Time Listings. Retrieved 2008-06-27.  
  17. ^ "Property shark". Property Shark. Retrieved 2009-10-09.  
  18. ^ "Update: Jeff Lewis". The Real Estalker. Retrieved 2009-10-09.  
  19. ^ "Here’s One of Jeff Lewis’ New Flips". Redfin blog. Retrieved 2009-10-09.  
  20. ^ [8]
  21. ^ "Flipping Out Over Jeff Lewis". The Real Estalker. Retrieved 2008-06-27.  
  22. ^ O'Donnell, Rosie (2007-09-06). "Jeff Lewis". Retrieved 2008-06-27.  

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