News

HGTV Renovates Its Brand

3/18/2010 9:04 AM Eastern

Just when many are planning
spring cleaning and improvement projects
for their homes, HGTV is refacing its on-air
look with a new graphics package and the
debut of a half-dozen new series.

The changeover, which follows HGTV’s
best-ever January in primetime, when it rang
up a 22% gain in households to a 1.1 rating,
starts on-air March 1 and will extend to the
network’s Web
site, marketing
and other communications
vehicles
over the next couple
of months.

“We wanted
to get viewers attention
at a time
when we have a
lot of new original
programming
ready to debut,”
HGTV president
Jim Samples said
of the work conducted
by New
York shop Eyeball. “It’s a refreshed look, with
bold colors and mnemonics, which will help
viewers navigate through different programming.”

Th e modernized logo will gain exposure
via a $5 million off -air campaign, showcasing
one of HGTV’s top-rising stars, Mike
Holmes of Holmes on Homes. The media
schedule encompasses both national and
local cable, as well as some print, according
to Samples. Fresh installments of Holmes
on Homes will bow on March 7 in a new 9
p.m. time slot, and Holmes Inspection starts
on April 3 at 9 a.m.

“Holmes on Homes has performed very
well for HGTV,” said Samples. “He’s been a
nice addition to our lineup and generated a
lot of buzz.

“It’s a good time to launch news series,
coming out of the February sweeps and this
year, the Olympics,” he added, noting that
like other networks HGTV has taken “a bit
of hit” from the Vancouver
Games. “Spring’s around the
corner and people start thinking
about what they can do
around their homes and outdoors.”

Samples said HGTV, which
has “essentially” completed all of its licensefee
renewal deals along with sister service
Food Network, is looking to place more of
“a focus on strong personalities and characters.
It’s something diff erent from what viewers
have come to expect from HGTV.”

To that end, he pointed to Cindy Stumpo,
a Boston developer and the star of weekly
docudrama Tough as Nails, which bows
March 14 at 11 p.m. (ET/PT). A builder
of high-end, multimillion-dollar homes,
Stumpo has made
a name for herself
in a male-dominated
industry,
while juggling
her family life.

Similarly, Samples
said watchers
won’t soon
forget Fran Harrison Home
Rules, which
bows March 15
at 9 p.m. A life
coach and former
Women’s National
Basketball Association
player, she will look to provide an
assist to struggling families looking for peace
at home, with the help of a designer, who will
craft new harmonic living quarters.

Other new shows on tap for HGTV this
month: Marriage Under Construction (bows
March 16, 11 p.m.) follows the lives of newlyweds Natalie and Rod as they purchase,
renovate and decorate their first home with
the aid of expert foreman and aspiring designer;
My First Sale (March 18, 8:30 p.m.)
chronicles the story of different first-time
home buyers and the problems they encounter
with a challenged and challenging
real-estate market; Selling New York (March
18, 9 p.m.) provides viewers with a glimpse
into the high-stakes world of moving, purchasing
properties in Manhattan via two
boutique real-estate firms, The Core Group
and Gumly Haft Kleir; and Destination Design,
(March 6, 1:30 p.m.) features designer
Taniya Nayak sending homeowners on luxury
vacations to discover colors,
textures, images and moments
that inspire them and then formulating
plans based on the
photos, experiences, souvenirs
and other mementos from
their trips.

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