Milan Vasic has been involved with reality TV for quite a while. He thinks the show he’s associated with now is something special. No violence. Nobody gets voted off. And nobody has to eat a bug.
“Our show celebrates the best in people,” said the senior producer of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” which airs Sunday nights on ABC. The program, now in its seventh season, will start taping its season finale in Columbus on Sunday.
“We’re bringing the greatest show on earth to town,” Vasic said Tuesday. “We’re ready to show the heart and soul of Columbus to people all over the world. “Our show is voiced over in 58 languages and seen in 69 countries. As many as a billion people may view an episode.”
Each episode features the building or renovation of a house for a family that is facing a hardship.
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“It is often a family, which despite its own troubles, has still reached out to others,” Vasic said.
The families are chosen by ABC from thousands of applications. The location is kept secret until the day work is set to begin and the family learns of its good fortune.
“The house will go up in 106 hours,” Vasic said. “It’s amazing.”
The house will be revealed to the family on Feb. 27.
Vasic and many of the staff members of the show, but not host Ty Pennington, held a pep rally at the Columbus Convention & Trade Center Tuesday morning. Only about 50 of approximately 700 people who are scheduled to volunteer to build the house attended the event. Vasic and staff members made a plea for even more people to get involved or donate money.
There are a lot of ways to help besides building, Vasic said. These includes catering, loading, parking and clean-up.
The material, labor and others services for the house are all donated. While designers and builders will come from around the country, much of the work will come from area providers.
The show’s Web site lists the numerous kinds of items and workers needed for the job. Just a handful of those listed include fence installers, concrete finishers, framers, cabinet installers, painters, roofers, wall paper hangers, seamstresses, photographer, curtain rods, patio furniture, laptops and children’s furniture.
Donations may be made on the Web site.
This house will be the first modular home built by the television show. Vasic said such homes are the “wave of the future.”
Parts of the house will be constructed in Martinsville, Va., home of Nationwide Custom Homes, a subsidiary of Palm Harbor Homes.
“We have workers coming from 14 states to contribute,” said Dan Goodin, vice president of sales and marketing for Nationwide. “This is our first time working with the show and we’re very excited. When you think about what this ‘Extreme Makeover’ does, not just for families, but communities, it’s great to be a part of it.”
Vasic used to be an assistant director for Animal Planet. He works for Lock and Key Productions, a part of Endemol USA, which has produced such shows as “Big Brother” and “Fear Factor.”
“It’s a humbling experience to see families helped over and over,” Vasic said. “It’s always a challenge to get the house built in time. It’s always fun.”