By Paige Albiniak -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/18/2004 8:00:00 PM
Twentieth Television is ready to ambush the design-challenged with makeovers and decorators. This fall, the studio accelerates its pattern of rolling out shows for regional testing. Live Like a Star, featuring model Roshumba Williams and style guru Colin Cowie, will complete its initial 13-week test on Sept. 10. Design Invasion will roll out on Fox O&O stations on Sept. 13, the same day the syndicator launches Ambush Makeover nationwide.
Although Live Like a Star is going into production hiatus, its future is unknown. Twentieth isn't unhappy with the show's performance, says President and COO Bob Cook. Live Like a Star premiered in late June with a 1.2 rating/3 share on the Fox O&Os, covering 40% of the country. Since then, it has grown to a 1.3/4.
In selected markets—Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, Detroit, Denver, Orlando, Fla., and Baltimore—Live Like a Star has significantly improved its time period over the prior month. In Washington, the show has grown 144% since its debut, starting at a 0.9 and building to a 2.2 in week three.
Twentieth's other makeover show, Ambush Makeover, delivers decent ratings among women 18-34 and women 18-49. The show averaged a 1.3/4 in the May sweeps, down 7% from its lead-in and down 28% from comparable time periods in the prior year.
While Twentieth is winding down production on Live Like a Star, it's ratcheting up Design Invasion . Like Ambush Makeover, Design Invasion is produced by Banyan Productions, the same company that produces Trading Spaces for TLC. Six designers will knock on people's doors at the invitation of a loved one, sweep in and redo a living room, kitchen or bedroom in the space of 12 hours.
"We show up with our huge truck full of things that are going to make their place beautiful," says Robb Dalton, Twentieth's president of programming and production.
"It's kids doing something for their mom, or a wife whose husband is taking over the living room with all his stuff."
Twentieth also gives viewers the opportunity to gain some beauty or design advice on the fly. The syndicator is producing vignettes in which both shows' stylists offer practical tips that stations can use.
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