Here's What You Need To Know About Extreme Makeover: Home Edition

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition is an absolutely classic home renovation show from the 2000s. Who can forget host Ty Pennington starting the chant of "Move that bus!" before revealing a brand new home to a lucky family? The show was a joy to watch and often resulted in tears from everyone involved: Pennington, the other hosts, the designers, the families, and the viewers at home.

There's a lot that even avid fans may not know about the show, which was rebooted for 2020 and now includes Jesse Tyler Ferguson as host. For example, it was incredibly difficult for many families to keep their homes after the show ended. Because most of these families were already low-income, saddling them with a home that brought plenty of new costs was often unsustainable (though well-intentioned). Victor Marrero, who was given a house in Pennsylvania, said his utility bills were over $700 a month on average, a cost he wasn't able to sustain. After his annual utility and property costs shot upwards of $11,500, Marrero eventually had to sell the house, according to a 2009 story in AOL.

Now that the show is coming back, let's dive into what's changing and what's staying the same.

The rebooted show features both old and new faces

Extreme Home Makeover: Home Edition, which aired from 2003 to 2012 in its original iteration, got the reboot treatment in 2020. While the original show aired on ABC, the new version is on HGTV. But it keeps the same premise at heart, and it even features some of the same familiar faces. 

Ty Pennington, the original show's popular and bubbly host, isn't hosting the reboot, but he's still involved as a carpenter. The host this time around is Modern Family star Jesse Tyler Ferguson. Ferguson told Parade about his new gig, explaining, "The producers came to me because they wanted someone totally different from Ty, and they wanted someone who could bring humor as well as a human connection. It's a tricky balance because you're part Oprah Winfrey, part Bob the Builder."

The team of designers and carpenters on the new edition of the show is stacked with talent, though largely different from the team in the original series. HGTV has also tapped other talent from its network of creatives to help out on the show, including Tarek El Moussa and Jasmine Roth, according to Parade. The reboot also sees some celebrity guests like LeAnn Rimes, Tyler Florence, and Anthony Anderson.

The application process is still intense

As with the original show, the recipients of the new homes are families in need, whether they've experienced tragedy or another hardship. Anyone can nominate a deserving family on the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition website. Expect the application process to be rigorous, though, especially after the initial round. Rib Hillis, who worked on the original version of the show, told The Futon Critic in 2009 that the casting department deals with thousands of applicants daily and the show conducts extensive background checks. 

Also, the people on the show aren't exactly "lucky," all things considered. Hillis said, "A lot of people come to me and say they want to be one of those families and I say, 'You do not want to have Ty Pennington show up in front of your house because that means you have suffered and lost more than you would ever, ever think you could suffer and lose.'" 

We can only imagine that the application process remains just as intense as it was a decade ago, because the casting department still receives a huge amount of applications daily. You can also sign up on the Extreme Makeover: Home Edition website as a volunteer to work at one of the building sites near you. 

There might be less controversy this time

The show wasn't without its controversies back in the day. One of the families who was given a home in 2009 was found to be medically abusing their children, which fed into the story they'd used to land on the show in the first place, according to Yahoo News. ABC also ran into a lawsuit in 2005 when the orphaned children taken in by another family were given a house. But when the family who took in the orphans forced them out to keep the house for themselves, the kids sued ABC for not delivering on the house they were promised.

And let's not forget that there's a rise in the cost of utilities and taxes, which means some families end up just simply not being able to afford to keep their beautiful new homes. While ABC claimed to try to do everything they could to offset the costs, including installing energy-efficient systems in the homes to bring down the cost of electricity, for some it wasn't enough and the homes ended up in foreclosure.

HGTV plans to mitigate this problem with the new series. Unlike the old version of the show, the homes are "done in a more scaled way," HGTV executive Loren Ruch said (via The Wrap). The homes will be renovations of the original properties — not giant "McMansions or larger homes." Plus, families will be given longer-term financial assistance.