Ahead of the premiere of HGTV’s latest home renovation series, Good Bones, on March 22, realscreen presents an exclusive clip of the High Noon Entertainment-produced program.
The 10 x 60-minute series chronicles the mother and daughter team of Karen E Laine, a former defence attorney, and Mina Starsiak, a real estate agent, as they purchase properties that have been condemned or slated for demolition in their favorite Indianapolis neighborhoods. With an initial purchase price typically under the US$100,000 mark, the pair tears each home down to the studs before investing another $100,000 in new finishes and designs.
The search for charming and engaging individuals to appear in the next breakout renovation series is an ongoing process at High Noon, says company CEO Jim Berger. After a handful of cold calls to contractors in the Indianapolis area last year, a casting producer at the firm was directed to Laine and Starsiak’s renovation company, Two Chicks and a Hammer. Shortly thereafter, the Cake Boss producer scheduled a meeting over chat service Skype.
“The funny part was they both had a glass of wine they were drinking during the Skype interview,” Berger says with a laugh. “When we later watched the [interview] and watched them [be] so very relaxed with a glass of wine each, that’s when we knew that we really had a special couple of characters on our hands.”
After signing on for a pilot, which aired last May to favorable reviews, HGTV ordered 10 episodes, with filming running from July to December 2015.
For the two hosts, that would mean an increased workload from three homes per year to tearing down and restoring 10 rundown houses in a six-month period. Along with the added pressure of completing each makeover on time and on budget, construction crews would also be faced with keeping a rigid timetable to ensure production costs were minimal.
“Can they get these homes done on time? That’s really tricky in the renovation category and it throws everything off-kilter [if not completed in time],” says Berger. “But they really went for it in this first season. They really stepped up and finished all the homes on time.”
Home renovation series are among the strongest ratings drivers for Scripps Networks Interactive-owned channel HGTV. A December airing of High Noon’s Fixer Upper earned the network a 1.27 rating among viewers aged 25 to 54, making it one of the highest-rated telecasts in network history.
Over the course of nearly 20 years, High Noon has produced 25 home renovation series – including one of the studio’s first, Work in Progress, in 1997 – and more than 600 episodes. In that time, the Denver, Colorado-headquartered producer has seen the genre evolve from a struggling format that saw homeowners figuring out home renovations themselves to a thriving specialty focused instead on professional builders beautifying properties.
Like most home renovations, the genre itself was built from the studs up, Berger says.
“Property shows are going to be around for hundreds and hundreds of years because everybody can relate to the home and can always relate to the home, I don’t care if it’s now or 100 years from now,” the exec added.
- Good Bones premieres tomorrow (March 22) on HGTV at 11 p.m. EST/PST.