TLC is revamping Trading Spaces again by bringing back fired host Paige Davis and bringing in new producers. The show’s old designers will return, too, including Doug Wilson, Hildi Santo-Thomas, Laurie Hickson-Smith, and Frank Bielec. The new show may debut in January.
The producers of Hell’s Kitchen, “A. Smith & Co.[,] has replaced current ‘Trading’ production shingle Banyan Prods. as producers of the home redecorating format, which TLC plans to relaunch as early as January,” Variety reports.
Paige was fired by TLC two years ago, and the show transitioned to a format that replaced Paige with crazy camera work and porno music. Variety says that Paige’s “departure — along with a glut of copycat cable makeover shows — led to declining ratings for ‘Spaces,’ which at its zenith was the No. 1 cable show on Saturday nights.”
The show will apparently not change its central format, but executive producer Arthur Smith says, “The big difference will be in the casting. People want to be more vested in the people they’re seeing. The couples may not be next-door neighbors all the time.” (As recently as August, the show was casting for dominatrixes, virgins, CEOs, models, and others.) Executive producer Kent Weed says, “You might have a little more conflict and drama than you had before.” But Smith said, “We want to protect the things that made the show popular in the first place. It’ll still be heartwarming.”
TLC’s new president Angela Shapiro-Mathes said that after its change, the series “was no longer unique, it didn’t have a clean format and it didn’t have a host that said ‘Trading Spaces’ to the audience.” But she says that Banyan Productions “did an incredible job keeping the show on the air for so long.”
Of her return to the series, alongside with the old designers, Paige says, “This feels like a great big reunion.”