Re­la­tion­ships on HGTV help net­work in­crease prime-time view­er­ship


HGTV is work­ing the buddy sys­tem.

The home-and-gar­den net­work has upped the num­ber of shows with co-hosts who are re­lated or mar­ried to five, adding “Amer­ica’s Most Des­per­ate Kitchens,” hosted by cousins An­thony Car­rino and John Colaneri, to its lineup of shows hosted by spouses, sib­lings and other as­sorted rel­a­tives.

Keep­ing it all in the fam­ily is de­lib­er­ate: “The nat­u­ral con­ver­sa­tion and ex­changes be­tween them as ex­perts with a pre-ex­ist­ing re­la­tion­ship en­gages au­di­ences,” said HGTV gen­eral man­ager Al­li­son Page.

The lifestyle net­work’s top show “Brother vs Brother,” star­ring broth­ers Drew and Jonathan Scott fix­ing houses for re­sale, av­er­aged 2.5 mil­lion view­ers this sea­son - a 47 per cent in­crease over last year’s view­er­ship, ac­cord­ing to Nielsen rat­ings.

Car­rino and Colaneri are back with their fourth HGTV show this sum­mer. In their new­est of­fer­ing, the duo ren­o­vates kitchens in homes across the coun­try. Colaneri said they en­joy be­ing able to por­tray their re­la­tion­ship ex­actly as it is with­out any amped-up drama.

“We are first cousins, best friends and we are al­most like broth­ers,” Colaneri said.

Their first HGTV gig host­ing “Kitchen Cousins” came out of the blue: They got the sur­prise call from the net­work 10 months af­ter a friend sent in a video she made of them.

“I don’t think for one sec­ond we ever thought this is some­thing we can do,” Car­rino said.

Page said the net­work’s au­di­ence is mostly women, but they have worked to ex­pand it. Since host­ing on HGTV, Car­rino said, “Big burly union elec­tri­cal work­ers” have come up to him say­ing, “Can I get a pic­ture? I love your show.”

Page said the two-host sys­tem helps di­ver­sify the de­mo­graphic of the au­di­ence, es­pe­cially when each of the hosts has a dif­fer­ent ex­per­tise.

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