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Originally published August 8, 2014 at 8:03 PM | Page modified August 8, 2014 at 10:32 PM

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Home entertainment: New TV shows aim for younger audience

“Rowhouse Showdown” and “Tiny House Nation” are renovation and design shows that are part of the summer launch of the rebranded FYI Network, formerly known as Bio. And they are diving into a crowded pool filled with firmly established shows from HGTV, DIY, TLC and Bravo.


The Orange County Register

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Good design — sometimes deemed the je né sais quoi of interior design and architecture — is the intent behind two new series on television and online at fyi.tv.

“Rowhouse Showdown” and “Tiny House Nation” are renovation and design shows that are part of the summer launch of the rebranded FYI Network, formerly known as Bio. FYI, a division of A+E Networks, stands for “for your imagination, inspiration and innovation” and focuses on four categories: food, style, relationships and homes.

The two new entrants, which air on Wednesday evenings, are diving into a crowded pool filled with firmly established shows from HGTV, DIY, TLC and Bravo, but Gena McCarthy, senior vice president of programming at FYI and an executive producer for both shows, contends that her network intends to capture the attention of a younger audience than that of the other networks — viewers with a median age of 40, primarily Gen X and Gen Y, who are big users of social media.

“They look for creative inspiration in Pinterest, Etsy and Houzz.com,” McCarthy says.

“Some of the things that we think are relevant to this audience include how to get their first foot on the property ladder,” she says.

The network looked closely at the lifestyles that its target viewers were interested in, such as the small-house movement, thrift style and things that are organic, recycled or authentic, she says.

On Friday (Aug. 15), FYI will debut “Red Hot Design,” which features Shasta Smith, chief designer, welder, creator and entrepreneur of a furniture and artwork shop based in Sacramento, Calif. Smith and her crew will turn materials such as airplane wings and motorcycle hubcaps into furniture and art for clients.

FYI’s foray into home renovation and design shows comes at a time when the housing market is slowly recovering.

“I don’t think the recovery has hit everywhere,” says Donna MacLetchie, an executive producer for Jane Entertainment, which produced “Rowhouse Showdown.”

“That’s kind of what we wanted to shine the light on. A lot of homes we’re featuring are on the verge of a comeback.”



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