HGTV's 'Star Picks Marathon' Gives the Stars a Chance Take the Programming Reins
Home renovation superstars reveal and introduce their all-time favorite episodes in ‘HGTV Star Picks’ midday marathon.
Perhaps you’ve noticed. HGTV’s on-air programming is — far from being static — sort of a dynamic, ever-evolving thing. Sure, there are the prime-time anchor slots focused around premieres of the network’s fan faves and blockbuster events. Think of the recent arc of A Very Brady Renovation, or the once-familiar Fixer Upper Tuesdays, or this season’s Home Town Mondays and, most recently, the debut of the spectacularly popular Celebrity IOU – with its breakout appearances by Hollywood mega-A-listers Brad Pitt and Melissa McCarthy.
Even in this age of ubiquitous streaming and viewer-selectivity via on-demand programming, there still exists such a thing as appointment viewing. At least we like to think so.
But beyond just the stable of prime-time heavy hitters, the network’s programming and scheduling teams are constantly at work thinking of new and creative ways to bring a rich and vibrant viewing experience into your home. And in the face of the global phenomena of shelter-in-place, quarantine and #HomeTogether, when it comes to agile and creative programming, there’s no time like the present.
Prime Time All the Time
Tip a glance at the online program guide and you’ll see things like partial-day marathons of fan favorites like Home Town, My Lottery Dream Home, Property Brothers: Forever Home and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. And back-to-back airings of popular staples like Hidden Potential as well as new contenders like House in a Hurry. Watch closely and you may even see episodes of classic HGTV favorites resurrected – case-in-point: morning-slot airings of the You Live in What? – featuring some of the country’s wondrously weird and offbeat homes. And starting this month, via the HGTV eNewsletter, fans are being given the opportunity to weigh in and vote for what shows they’d most like to see on the viewer-driven #FanFavoriteFriday.
Now, in another novel programming initiative, HGTV is letting the hosts of some of the network’s most popular shows pick their own personal favorite episodes – then featuring those in the newly created HGTV Star Picks midday marathon. From Monday, April 27 through Friday, May 1, between 12 and 2 p.m. ET/PT, HGTV is putting the likes of Drew and Jonathan, Mina and Karen, Tarek and Christina and David Bromstad behind the wheel of their air schedule.
“We’ve never done this before, so I can guarantee there will be some surprises,” said Jane Latman, president, HGTV. “Grab your lunch, get cozy on the couch with your family and get ready for the big reveal of your favorite stars’ top episodes.”
Each airing will begin with self-shot footage of the show hosts as they share back-stories and personal details about why they love their selected episode the most. Participating hosts and series in the HGTV Star Picks marathon include: Drew and Jonathan Scott (Property Brothers: Forever Home), Ben and Erin Napier (Home Town), Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead (Flip or Flop), David Bromstad (My Lottery Dream Home), Hilary Farr and David Visentin (Love It or List It), Mina Starsiak Hawk and Karen E Laine (Good Bones), Alison Victoria (Windy City Rehab), Jasmine Roth (Hidden Potential), and Dave and Jenny Marrs (Fixer to Fabulous).
Here’s the daily lineup for the HGTV Star Picks marathon:
Monday, April 27
Hidden Potential at 12 p.m. ET/PT “Is That My House?”
Jasmine Roth customizes a basic builder house for a couple in Huntington Beach, California. An open concept living area, brand-new kitchen and stunning curb appeal make this home stand out in a suburban neighborhood where the houses all look the same. “If I was going to move into any of my Hidden Potential houses, it would definitely be a tough decision,” said Jasmine. “But I think this one would be at the top of my list!”
Home Town at 1 p.m. ET/PT “History in the Making”
Bill is ready to settle down with his fiancée Jody in Laurel, Mississippi--the small town he's loved since childhood. Ben and Erin Napier show the couple two very different homes—a dilapidated historic house with character that requires a ton of work, and a Craftsman that needs updates and a personality. With an all-in budget of $200,000, Ben and Erin transform the couple's pick into a dream home with a gorgeous kitchen and custom millwork. “Bill’s emotional reaction at the reveal made it feel full circle, like we had really seen their heart and made it into a home,” said Erin.
Tuesday, April 28
Fixer to Fabulous at 12 p.m. ET/PT “Dreary Home Gets a Bright Update”
To help clients convert their oddly constructed home into a bright and welcoming space for them and their kids, Dave and Jenny Marrs must tackle its fortress facade and 1970s interior to bring the home into the 21st century. While Dave encounters odd structural issues, Jenny battles one of her biggest fears as she updates the exterior's extremely high, rusted balconies. “This was my favorite episode, because this was our biggest project of the season and it forced me to get really creative with my design plans,” said Jenny. “On a personal note, we welcomed our first baby animal to the farm during filming, and I get sentimental each time I watch her arrival!”
Love It or List It at 1 p.m. ET/PT “Betting the Horse Farm”
A horse lover already has her dream home on the family’s five-acre farm—but her city-raised husband has had all he can take. Although the home is dated, she loves the amazing views and abundant outdoor space. He, however, no longer feels like there's enough space indoors for their growing family, his guitar collection and their love of entertaining. David Visentin is on hand to help find them a better compromise, but Hilary Farr is hoping she can renovate the home and convince them to stay. “This was one of my favorite episodes because horses were involved, and I loved this house and the location from the minute I saw it,” said Hilary. “The transformation my ‘Love It’ team pulled off was incredible. We solved virtually everything their hearts desired within the budget.”
Wednesday, April 29
Property Brothers: Forever Home at 12 p.m. ET/PT Drew’s Pick: “House Proud”
A couple is raising their two girls in the same neighborhood where they grew up. However, their house is so worn out that it makes the family cringe. Drew and Jonathan Scott update the kitchen, living room, dining area and basement, leaving them with a home in which they can all be proud. “I’ll never forget standing in their basement as Michelle held back the tears and explained that their daughters wanted to have friends over but were way too embarrassed by the condition of their home,” said Drew. “After hearing that, we knew we had to give this family a home they could ALL be proud of.”
Property Brothers: Forever Home at 1 p.m. ET/PT Jonathan’s Pick: “New Life, New Home”
A couple that took a step back from busy careers to focus on their kids dreams of a layout that works for their family. Drew and Jonathan Scott free up the floor plan to create a kitchen and living room that match the family's needs. “Drew and I really related to this family,” said Jonathan. “First, they were West Coasters just like us, but the parents also had just given up their careers to spend more time with their kids. When Drew and I were growing up, Dad did the same thing. He was away for work a lot and wasn’t getting enough time with us boys and Mom, so he changed careers to be with his family.”
Thursday, April 30
Good Bones at 12 p.m. ET/PT Mina’s Pick: “Mina’s Forever Home”
Mina Starsiak Hawk and her husband are ready to start a family and build their forever home. She purchased an empty lot right next door to their current home years ago and plans to go big with a floor plan she has been working on for years. However, just as the ball gets rolling, Mina finds out she's pregnant, putting a rush on finishing her dream home before the baby is born. “My ‘Forever Home’ episode is obviously very close to my heart,” said Mina. “I spent so much time working and planning to execute our dream home, and I love it every day.”
Karen’s Pick: “A Backyard Barn for Karen”
In the episode, mother-daughter duo Karen E Laine and Mina Starsiak Hawk tackle a special project—Karen's new barn-shaped guesthouse that she has been dreaming of for years. But before construction begins, the women get some devastating permit news from the city, forcing them to rethink the size of the structure. On the inside, Karen has tons of ideas about how to add her own special touches, and with the budget in her hands for a change, she's determined to make it the guesthouse of her dreams. “My favorite episode to make was my carriage house,” said Karen. “I was able to let loose ALL of my creativity and bring my vision to life. Now friends, family and fans can come visit me, hang out in my garden and commune with the chickens,”
Friday, May 1
Windy City Rehab at 12 p.m. ET/PT “Skyline Penthouse”
Alison Victoria takes on a penthouse with the potential for some serious profit. However, what seems like an easy renovation quickly goes off the rails when an inexperienced superintendent gets in over his head and can't get the job done. “This renovation was a turning point for me,” said Alison. “I learned so much and that paved the way for me and my team to be more successful. It tested my patience, endurance and capabilities and made me realize what I could do.”
Flip or Flop at 1 p.m. ET/PT “Midcentury Flip”
Tarek El Moussa and Christina Anstead get a lead on a home in Long Beach, California, that sounds like the kind of project that has become their standard. But soon after walking the property, it becomes clear that this flip is anything but typical. The midcentury modern home will require them to step out of their design and renovation comfort zones if they are to turn a profit on their investment.
“It’s my favorite episode because we experienced a lot of ‘firsts,” said Tarek. “It was the first time we went after a unique design that a professional designer would do, the first time we did midcentury and modern, and also one of the first times we had done a nice landscape and hardscape.” “It was the first time we really stepped out of our design comfort zone in a big way,” added Christina. “It was really fun and exciting to do this type of house and after that we started designing in a much bigger way.”
My Lottery Dream Home at 1:30 p.m. ET/PT “Gail and Chet: Boston Dream Garden”
After two years of searching, a woman's dream of living in the Boston suburbs is finally within reach after winning one million dollars on a Massachusetts scratcher. Can David Bromstad find her dream home and garden before someone else snatches it in Boston's hot property market? “My favorite episode is with Gail from Boston,” said David. “She is hilarious and speaks her mind. She doesn’t care what anyone thinks, and I find that incredibly refreshing. She is a breath of sassy refreshing air.”
Tune In or Set Your DVR
You owe yourself a break. Think of this as a midday respite from Zooming, news-feeds and other stressful aspects of sheltering at home. Now, and for a limited time, see what the HGTV lineup looks like with some of your favorite hosts running the show — and hear their personal take on their favorite episodes.