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DIY Network looks for innovation

DIY Network is focused on innovation within the home improvement genre. With hit interactive series Blog Cabin returning in August and partnerships with the Today Show on America's Most Desperate Landscape and MLB Network on the Who Wants a Man Cave Contest? DIY is expanding its audience with new ideas. DIY's head of programming Andy Singer took realscreen through what they're looking for.
June 17, 2009

DIY Network is focused on innovation within the home improvement genre. With hit interactive initiative Blog Cabin returning in August and partnerships with the Today Show on America’s Most Desperate Landscape and MLB Network on the Who Wants a Man Cave Contest? DIY is expanding its audience with new ideas. DIY’s VP of original programming Andy Singer took realscreen through what they’re looking for.

The network is all about commissioning, with a percentage of about 99% original programming. ‘We have a few acquisitions but really most of our shows are originally commissioned,’ says Singer.

Although it seems like a no-brainer, Singer maintains that the main thing a producer can do before pitching an idea is to watch the network. ‘Even when I’ve said ‘Here’s what I’m looking for,’ we’ll still get pitches that have nothing to do with what we do and don’t match the tone or sensibility of the network. Don’t just watch for content, watch for tone, attitude and sensibility,’ he advises.

Singer finds that since DIY is home improvement specific, pitches usually fall under that genre. However, he finds it important to be broad with the category. ‘Disaster House fits for us because you’re getting great information about how to fix things, projects you can do, but it sort of re-imagines what home improvement can be,’ he says. ‘We like shows like Deconstruction which take building materials and puts them to the test.’

Thinking outside of the box is something that Singer stressed. ‘It’s good to not just think of a home as four walls and how to fix it. Some of the things we can do with [the] home can provide viewers with something new and fun within that category.’

Producers should also think of pitches that include multi-platform ideas, since DIY has found success with Blog Cabin and hopes for similar results from the upcoming 13-part series Run My Renovation, where users will vote on what goes into a renovation for each homeowner. Voting begins in July and the show premieres in 2010.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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