Granite countertops. Stainless steel appliances. His-and-hers sinks. Shiplap. Whether you love HGTV shows like House Hunters and Fixer Upper or love to hate them, there’s no denying the cable network’s predictable slate of programming has captured the attention of TV viewers, and perhaps changed the way we think about buying a home.
The home improvement channel was the fourth-most-watched cable network during prime time during the week ending September 11, beating out heavy-hitters like CNN, AMC, and the Food Network. Apparently we just can’t get enough of gawking at people who turn up their noses at wall-to-wall carpet, complain about too-small closets, or act shocked when a home full of the “vintage charm” they said they wanted lacks modern amenities.
Zoning out in front of yet another episode of Property Brothers or Tiny House Hunters may be mildly entertaining, but does the depiction of the home-buying and renovation process you see on these shows bear any relationship to reality? Well, not exactly. Some popular HGTV like House Hunters programs are at least partially scripted, according to reports. People who’ve appeared on the show have said the houses they toured weren’t actually for sale and that they’d already bought their home by the time filming happened.
HGTV has said that they have to recreate the scenes of house hunting because of production and time constraints, though they claim “homeowners always find themselves right back in the moment, experiencing the same emotions and reactions to these properties,” during the not-so-real house tours.