HGTV “House Hunters” TV Shows Are Staged

January 23, 2012
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This is worse than finding that that the Easter Bunny doesn’t exist: HGTV “House Hunters” is staged.
I could not believe my eyes when reading this morning’s email blast from Consumerworld.org pointing a story in MoneyTalksNews having confirmation from HGTV that it stages its House Hunters shows. Its a show my wife and I watch regularly, especially the House Hunters International. Makes me now questions all the HGTV programing.
The story by Stacy Johnson includes an email exchange between her and a public relations person for HGTV.
Here are a couple of excerpts from House Hunters’ response to Johnson’s questions, where the media relations person did not deny that fakery was going on:

Hi Stacy,

Thank you for your interest in House Hunters.

As you know, the pursuit of the perfect home involves big decisions that usually take place over a period of time –more time than we can capture in 30 minutes of television … We’re making a television show, so we manage certain production and time constraints, while honoring the home buying process. To maximize production time, we seek out families who are pretty far along in the process. Often everything moves much more quickly than we can anticipate, so we go back and revisit some of

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19 Responses to HGTV “House Hunters” TV Shows Are Staged

  1. Bob on January 23, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Surprise, surprise, who’d have thought those changes could have been made in 30 minutes? Only the gullible uninformed American public, which has been dumbed down by the “media”.

  2. Sybil Nassau on January 23, 2012 at 10:21 am

    Hey, come one George, what did you expect? I watch that show all the time too (weekends),and knew this from the getgo. How else could they tape a show about buying or selling real estate? Apparently, nothing on tv is as it seems. Even the so-called reality shows are somewhat staged- they has to be some kind of a script or order to follow. Same with HGTV. I often wonder how many “takes” they had to do to get a show together, how many hours of tape end up never being used. The people they use of course are not actors but how many are really photogenic and come across well on TV? You can bet not all! So watch these shows for entertainment and possibly information which is all they are meant to be. Same thing with Food Network. I watch that weekends too – same process. Oh, and just so you know, I never watch any of the other so-called reality shows for just that reason, they are really reality!

  3. Sybil Nassau on January 23, 2012 at 10:22 am

    oops, I meant to say AREN’T really reality!

  4. KGB on January 23, 2012 at 10:33 am

    They still show fun houses, we get to go with them from the comfort of our home. They do make a choice, it is suspenseful and we get to see the choice and the “after” with the family installed in their new home.
    It’s brilliant. My favorite is the international version.

  5. Christine on January 23, 2012 at 10:51 am

    But I was disappointed to learn that the competitors on Iron Chef America are prepped in advance on what the mystery ingredient could be. They are given two options weeks before the competition – so the only mystery is which option will be selected. I got this info straight from someone who competed on the challenger’s team once. I’m so much less impressed now. :-(

  6. Roger on January 23, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    This is not new news. I learned this from the Hartford Courant a couple of years ago.

  7. Bob Trotta on January 23, 2012 at 8:31 pm

    As far as I’m concerned, the only real “reality show” on TV is UNDERCOVER BOSS, CBS, Sunday nights! It just came back on the air last week after a hiatus. A CEO from a major company goes undercover to see how the employees are working OR not working according to company standards. It is USUALLY an EYE OPENER for the CEO! I think EVERY CEO should go on this show because we all know how much help “customer service” needs these days!

  8. Fanfaron on January 24, 2012 at 6:58 am

    NOTHING on t.v. is REAL… ALL of it is fake. This email is, however, real. Thanks!

  9. DeeJay on January 24, 2012 at 7:43 am

    There is no such thing as “reality” TV. There can’t be. Can you imagine the producers of any show to go into filming without having a plan for what the result would be? They would be insane to hang their fortunes on an unknown outcome. Of course the shows are scripted, of course the little dramas along the way are played up and even blown out of proportion, of course the results aren’t in question, of course it’s all arranged in advance! Millions of dollars are at stake; how could it possibly be any other way?

  10. Ed P on January 24, 2012 at 8:19 am

    I always wondered how the cameraman knew to be inside the house when prospective buyers arrived. This is shocking!

    “As for Undercover Boss, after the first season or two I cannot imagine that people don’t know it is a setup. The employees are always the ones with a hard luck story and the boss helps them.

    The premis is good though, most executives have no idea what really goes on in their business a layer or two down. Oh, I can tell you stories.

  11. Alec on January 24, 2012 at 8:33 am

    It’s all just “entertainment” (not even edutainment which might be educational). Anyone who acts on what he he sees on TV including, laying out cold hard cash, is asking for trouble. The sole objective of this show, and all other shows, is to gain as many “eyes” as possible so that it can sell its commercial time for as much as possible. Period. End of story.

  12. ellie on January 24, 2012 at 9:35 am

    not a big deal. it’s still an enjoyable show and fun to see the houses for ordinary folks, the NY million dollar properties and the international properties. it makes for good entertainment on TV where there is a lot of awful “stuff.” i love the show! did anyone really think it was true?

  13. ruth on January 24, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    Of course it’s staged. Everyone who watches either knows it’s staged, or should. We watch anyway because it’s fun, not because it’s real.

  14. ConstantReader on January 24, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Wait, what? Whaddya mean it’s not real? It’s staged?!??! What? Really? No way!
    What about ‘Survivor’? and ‘American Idol’? and ‘Antiques Roadshow’? How about ‘The Walking Dead’? and ‘Breaking Bad’?
    Those are real, right?

  15. CraftsmanCT on January 24, 2012 at 8:34 pm

    Many of the basic aspects of the show are certainly true. The three houses are three (of the many) the buyers have looked at and the show just narrows it down to the three that may have been the buyers’ favorites. Then they choose the one they want. It would be impossible to believe that all of the buyers in the show only had three to choose from. It’s interesting and fun and a lot of it is actual fact, but hardly anyone believes it’s not staged just a bit to fit the format. And that shouldn’t make much difference to the devoted viewer.

  16. D on January 26, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Under cover boss, are u kidding me…never a complaint about the company or boss, just personal hardship and a boss that wants to make their life better, the best piece of fiction on earth…never met a boss that gave a rats a– about my personal issues.
    Not in this day and age…I just said to someone how phoney this show is….if only in real life, imagine how much better the world would be…..each of us caring about each other.Im afraid not in my lifetime……DD

  17. Bernadette O'Keefe on February 1, 2012 at 5:35 pm

    I watched an episode of a young couple from Oklahoma who moved to Okinawa,Japan. He wanted a home near the ocean. I wondered if they were there when the 2011 tsunami hit and if they were, are they ok?

  18. Elizabeth on March 11, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I figured it was staged since some of the home buyers are better actors than others. I only watch HH International, and fake or not it’s still interesting to see homes in other countries and the prices. What drives me crazy is the recap that they have to give after every commercial, like we didn’t just see it 3 minutes ago. Thank goodness for DVR so I can just just fast-forward through all that. In fact, sometimes I just watch the last 5 minutes when they recap all the houses, make a decision and then show them living there.

    p.s. I did a show on Animal Planet once where a dog was being adopted from the rescue group I volunteer with. It was all fake, too. The adoption had already happened and we just had to “reenact” it. They filmed it all in one day and we had to bring changes of clothing so it seemed like time was passing.

  19. Lena on May 10, 2012 at 1:00 am

    House Hunters is staged. I sold my house to a couple. As I was leaving my house for the last time my realtor called my cell to tell me the buyers won somerhing on HGTV and my former home would be featured on TV in a couple months. it was filmed after we moved out. I know for a fact the first time the woman saw my house she was excited to buy it. She had no interest in any other properties.

    What did they win? Were they paid? Did the owners of the other two homes get paid? If not why would they agree to have their homes dised on national TV?

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