Family homes get the ‘Extreme Makeover’ in HGTV reboot of iconic series

‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition’ – Inspirational, aspirational series returns

“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”

Get those hankies and tissues ready. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” is back.

Premiering Sunday, Feb. 16, on HGTV, this reboot of the 2003-12 ABC series puts Jesse Tyler Ferguson (“Modern Family”) in the hosting chair as designers Breegan Jane, Carrie Locklyn and Darren Keefe, along with scores of volunteers help remake or rebuild the inadequate, decrepit or deteriorating homes of families in need.

Over the course of 10 episodes, they’ll be assisted by guest stars including chef Tyler Florence, actor Anthony Anderson (“black-ish”), choreographer Derek Hough, country artist LeAnn Rimes and the original series’ carpenter Ty Pennington. And the job will be done in the space of a week, which Ferguson, a fan of the original series, found hard to believe.

“I came into this, you know, a bit jaded having been on television for a while,” he explains, “and having done reality TV before in different formats thinking they don’t really do this in a week. This is impossible. And they really do this in a week, and it’s insane that they actually can do this in a week.

“We work in cooperation with the cities, so a lot of the permits are pushed through,” he continues. “We have a lot of people working behind the scenes trying to make sure that we’re not waiting on anyone.  … We do come across rot or sewage lines that are coming apart and we deal with them in real-time, and it’s a true testament to all of the volunteers and to the builders who basically put their businesses on hold to help improve these families’ lives.”

At the heart of the show, of course, are the families’ stories. In Sunday’s opener, viewers are introduced to Jessica, a California single mom and social worker who with her three adoptees and two kids of her own, are forced by circumstance to move into her mother’s far-too-small three-bedroom ranch. Needless to say, the result at the end of the hour brings all concerned to tears, including Ferguson.

“I’m sitting in as a viewer,” he says. “Like, it is a bit of a fish-out-of-water situation, and I am learning on the spot. I love watching HGTV shows because I love getting ideas. I find the shows that they produce to be aspirational. So it’s honestly like a viewer has been dropped into the middle of HGTV’s ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.’ … It’s been very exciting for me.”

George Dickie

George Dickie

George Dickie has been a features writer for Gracenote/Tribune Media Services since 1989, when “Hee-Haw” was still on the air and George “Goober” Lindsay was his first interview. His early interviews ranged from Jim Henson and Dick Van Dyke to Phil Collins and the Dixie Chicks.

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