Canuck TV property series tailored for N.A.

Two TV series for HGTV U.S., Canada channels

TORONTO -- Differing Canadian and American housing markets has produced a tale of two Canuck TV series for HGTV channels on either side of the Canadian-U.S. border.

A down-sizing America has Canadian indie producer Cineflix Productions making a doc series for HGTV U.S. about the world of estate sales with the working title "American Treasures."

Cineflix earlier found ratings gold with the junkyard scavenger series "American Pickers" on History.

The Montreal-based producer is tight-lipped about its latest contribution to the junk TV genre.

But an online casting call indicates Cineflix will team up with Gemini Estate Services, a Detroit-based company, and follow its team of scavengers combing through estate sales, flea markets and private homes for junk they can flip for profit.

Meanwhile, just across the U.S.-Canadian border in southern Ontario, indie producer RTR Media has the cameras rolling on "Summer Home," a cottage makeover series for HGTV Canada to air in summer 2011.

The Canadian reno series is deliberately low-tech. "Summer Home" host Karen Sealy and her design team are looking for modest family-owned cabins in a two-hour radius of Toronto that need a little TLC, not palatial country homes.

"In one episode, all the kids are sleeping in one room, in bunk beds with storage units. You don't see that on design shows. You see the princess bedroom," RTR Media president Kit Redmond observes.

And cottagers will contribute at least $5,000 to the cost of the renovation, so the aim is making the second home a dreamy retreat, not fluffing it up to be flipped into a surprisingly robust Canadian housing market.

"What they (homeowners) want is more than the leftover furniture from their grandparents, and building a simple, easy-living second home," Redmond explained.

But Redmond, who sold an earlier property series "Income Property" to HGTV U.S. and HGTV Canada, expects a TV series where Canadians see an expert design team remodel their second home possibly becoming a hard sell stateside when many Americans are struggling to hold onto their main home during the economic downturn.

"I'm very aware that this show may be very Canadian," she said.

Redmond has, however already fielded wide interest for "Summer Home" as a travel/destination series from overseas broadcasters eager to give their viewers a window on Canadians grabbing a slice of the cottage life in their vast natural backyard.
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