The new year is almost here and HGTV will construct a bridge to 2014 with specials, new installments of returning series and the bow of a pair of shows, including one starring a former Olympian.
The Scripps Networks Interactive service will showcase a full day of fresh programming on Jan. 1 that aims to keep watchers inside and soak up some sun on the screen, with the service's traditional coverage of the Rose Parade, along with new episodes of Island Hunters, Beachfront Bargain Hunt, Caribbean Life, Hawaii Life and Living Alaska. Also on tap: the premiere of Vacation Home for Free and The Brian Boitano Project.
HGTV also plans its largest social media campaign ever on New Year’s Day—anchored by a live all-day Twitter party with such top network talent as the Property Brothers, the Cousins, Rehab Addict’s Nicole Curtis and Love It or List It duos, Hilary Farr/David Visentin and Jillian Harris/Todd Talbot. Throughout the day, fans can engage in the Twitter party by using #HGTVNewYear to ask their favorite HGTV stars questions and get advice about everything from renovation and decorating to New Year’s resolutions. Fans' tweets may also find their way to HGTV's air.
“Our goal is to attract as many viewers as we can with this lineup,” said Julie Taylor, senior vice president, program planning, HGTV and DIY Network. “We know this day is all about fun, family and relaxation so, to complement the parade, we’ve stacked the HGTV schedule with shows about fantasy lifestyles that will get people reflecting on their own passions.”
Traditionally one of the network’s biggest Nielsen winners, HGTV will celebrate the 125th edition of the spectacle with its coverage of Rose Parade 2014, presented by Honda, at 11 a.m. (ET). Property Brothers Drew Scott and Jonathan Scott—who were recently tagged among People magazine’s “Sexiest Men Alive,” will join Emmy Award-winning entertainment journalist Nancy O’Dell on the announcers’ platform to remark on floats, equestrian units and marching bands underlining the theme of “Dreams Come True.” DIY Network’s Josh Temple will be street side interviewing float riders, band members and celebrities on their unique parade experience.
At 8 p.m., the network will welcome viewers to HGTV Dream Home 2014, as hosts John Gidding and Temple tour the unit located near Lake Tahoe, Calif. The one-hour special provides a first-hand look at the shopping, food and family-friendly activities in the area. One lucky winner will receive the keys to the house, a 2014 GMC Yukon Denali and a $250,000 cash prize.
In between, HGTV is bowing new episodes and immediate follow-up encores of extant series: Island Hunters at 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.; Beachfront Bargain Hunt at 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; Caribbean Life at 3 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.; Hawaii Life at 6 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.; and Living Alaska at 7 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m.
New Year’s Day will also mark the coming out party for a pair of new HGTV series. Vacation House for Free supplies viewers with takeaway info on how to spot a hidden gem and transform it into a big-time moneymaker. From making a selection to renovating the property, host Matt Blashaw conveys the ultimate tutorial on how to get top dollar for their vacation rental part of the year and spend the rest of it living in a Vacation House for Free. The show bows at 5 p.m.
HGTV caps Jan. 1 with The Brian Boitano Project at 11 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. The Olympic figure skater gold medalist journeys to Favale di Malvaro in northern Italy to bring his old family home back to life. The 200-year-old house, which he inherited, is in major disrepair with no electricity or plumbing. Once the demolition is complete, he and his contractor will make the necessary structural repairs and transform the interior, including building a new kitchen and banquette area perfect for big family breakfasts. Along the way, Boitano experiences the amazing journey of renovating an old villa, in one of the most beautiful places on Earth, into a warm and welcoming home.
"I wanted to create a comfortable, relaxed look in the house,” said Boitano. “Whenever my friends and relatives come to visit, I want them to feel at home.”