HGTV Renovates Its Brand


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."

The 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
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 license-fee renewal deals along with sister service Food Network, is
looking to place more of "a focus on strong personalities and characters. It's
something different 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
Harris on 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 an 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.