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Paige Returns to Spaces
Article online since: 2007-11-16 10:20:53
Written by: anca axenia
TLC is bringing perky back to Trading Spaces.
The network has announced plans to reinstate former host Paige Davis as part of an overall revamp of the once-popular home-swapping makeover series.
Davis was ousted from the show in 2005, when TLC switched the series over to a host-less format.
Trading Spaces reached its high point under her tenure, at one point drawing some 9 million viewers.
Since her departure, ratings have dropped considerably, thanks in part to the large number of rival home makeover series on other networks.
In addition to bringing Davis back, TLC is also replacing Trading Spaces' longtime production company, Banyan, with A. Smith & Co., the shingle behind Hell's Kitchen, to put a new spin on the series.
The show will still feature contestants performing makeovers on one another's home with a $1,000 budget, but rather than featuring chummy neighbors, the overhauled series will focus on casting individuals with a more compelling backstory, such as dueling mothers-in-law or a divorced couple, executive producer Arthur Smith said.
"The big difference will be in the casting," Smith told Variety. "People want to be more vested in the people they're seeing. The couples may not be next-door neighbors all the time."
While the refurbished series may offer a bit more drama and conflict than the original, at the end of the day, it will stick to playing nice.
"We want to protect the things that made the show popular in the first place," Smith said. "It'll still be heartwarming."
The new and improved Trading Spaces begins filming this month, exclusively in high definition, with the upcoming season slated to premiere in January.
Aside from Davis, designers Doug Wilson, Laurie Hickson-Smith, Frank Bielec and Hildi Santo-Thomas will also be back, along with other carpenters and designers yet to be announced.
"I'm excited to hit the road again and return to the show that put home improvement, and TLC, on the map," Davis said in a statement. "We're ready to tear down ceiling fans and rip out paneling in homes across America!"
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