The Real Deal New York

Reality TV in the time of cooling home prices

By Tom Acitelli | November 16, 2007 03:55PM

The reality is the housing market is cooling. For reality TV, however, the hunt for housing remains as hot as ever.

At least 20 reality TV shows based on housing have debuted since the start of 2005, according to the Washington Post, hitting mostly cable networks like HGTV, Discovery Home, and TLC. With names like “House Hunters,” “Buy Me,” and “Flip This House,” the shows might reflect a fascination with housing steeped in the reality that many Americans have come to share these past couple of years: Tens of millions of Americans are now homeowners, thanks to the recent unprecedented housing market boom.

“Everybody’s bought in,” the Corcoran Group founder Barbara Corcoran told the Post in late December. “Everybody’s in the parade.” Corcoran says it was only a matter of time, then, before America’s obsession with housing – the good, the bad, the ugly – paraded through on the small screen.

Corcoran herself plans to jump into the real estate reality TV racket. When she left in August the brokerage she founded 20-some years ago, she told the media she was leaving in part to focus on TV through her new company Barbara Corcoran Productions.

Already a familiar face commentating on real estate for “Good Morning America” and “The View,” Corcoran said her TV focus would be partly on creating a reality show set in the world of real estate. No word yet, though, on when or where any show would hit the screen.

At the networks, ABC plans its own real estate reality show with distinct Big Apple connections. Details are scarce and the network did not respond to requests from The Real Deal for information, but revealed in January that the show would center around real estate in New York City and the lives of the city’s real estate brokers. Already in production, the show will follow brokers around, Curbed reported, exploring the relationships that come from renting or buying a spread in the city.