I think it is safe to say that most of us love watching home renovation shows. Whether it is for inspiration, your chance to share your opinion with your viewing partner, or simply out of the love of homes, these shows can be addictive! Most of these shows are set in the Midwest or East Coast, so we can’t always relate to the home styles there, but one Fresno couple hopes to make the Central Valley HGTV’s next location for home renovation shows.
Meet Nick and Koko Chandler. Both were born and raised in the Central Valley, are Fresno State graduates and reside in the Fresno High area. I had the pleasure of speaking with Nick exclusively about their renovation experience, how they got involved with HGTV, the process of pitching their idea, filming, what’s next and how you can help make this dream a reality for them.
What’s the show called and what’s the plot?
Go Big or Go Home follows Nick and Koko as they renovate homes in the Central Valley, specifically focusing on homes that families have outgrown and want to expand upon rather than move out. Nick and Koko work alongside homeowners to make their space fit their family and the direction they are headed.
How did Nick and Koko get HGTV’s attention?
In 2017 Nick came across an email from a casting company looking for home renovators. He talked to Koko about the casting and they decided to give it a shot. They sent over a bio and a blog post highlighting their latest home renovation and some DIY projects they completed. They were contacted the next day for a Skype interview.. The casting company loved their idea and sent a camera crew to Fresno for two days to shoot a “sizzle”. Nick says it was like a five-minute movie trailer of sorts. The sizzle was presented to HGTV, and they were given the green light to film a pilot.
What was it like behind the scenes?
Nick says it was a huge undertaking. More so than a regular renovation. They had to find a property with homeowners who were willing to be on the show, draw up plans, and do the actual renovations, all while making sure the film crew was there when anything big was happening. For Nick & Koko, it was a big learning curve. They were eager and ready to go but then had to “put on the brakes” while waiting for the production company. They also had to get used to being on camera. Everyone told them to act natural and just be themselves which was no easy task with a whole production company and HGTV executives there to watch the filming. Eventually, they became more comfortable in front of the camera and started having a ton of fun.
What can we expect from the pilot episode?
Nick and Koko got to work with local couple Sharlynn & Keegan Childers, hoping to expand their 800 sq ft home in the foothills of Prather. The Childers own a local lumber company and make some unique pieces that they were able to incorporate into the renovation of the home.
How was Fresno & the Central Valley incorporated into the show?
It was a top priority for the Chandlers to make sure they could stay as local as possible with the companies they worked with. They accomplished this goal and nearly everyone was local. The executives and producers from HGTV said they were surprised about how big Fresno and the Central Valley are and that they never imagined it would be this big and full of life. They even commented on how the Central Valley, its lifestyle and the people are an added character to the show.
How can everyone in the valley help support the show?
The pilot was filmed with no guarantee that it would ever air. Thankfully, the pilot was aired in May. It will be airing again on Tuesday, June 18th. If the pilot is well-received, it is possible that HGTV could offer a series that would be based here, in the Central Valley.
Check with your local tv provider for exact times, but DirecTV is airing the show on HGTV at 8pm and 11pm, Xfinity is airing at 11pm and 2am and for those of you who watch HGTV on Hulu like I do, it will be airing at 11pm and 2am also.
Nick & Koko hope to have the opportunity to continue showcasing the Central Valley and the talent of the people and businesses we have here.
I hope you will join all of us here at FresYes Realty in supporting this amazing Fresno couple and hopefully helping them get their own show!