Reality TV about housing makes a post-crash comeback

Networks are banking on a new cycle of housing shows

Who’s placing the biggest bet on the comeback of the U.S. housing market? Not Wall Street, but cable TV channels that run home-buying shows with titles like Love It or List It. The crash of 2008 wiped out a lot of reality shows about purchasing expensive homes; instead, channels like Home and Garden Television and the Learning Channel (TLC) shifted toward shows like The Unsellables, about people whose homes had become worthless. Now, according to the Wall Street Journal, these networks are working on a new cycle of housing shows, though like many cautious owners, they’re starting with cheap homes: HGTV’s future projects include Power Broker and Fixer Upper, about helping young buyers improve their first houses, and TLC is bringing back the show My First Home after a three-year break. Network executives had better hope they’re right about the market. If not, the only people in bigger trouble will be those who actually bought the houses.