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US Production company Departure Films has hired Jessica Morgan Richter to serve as its VP of Development

Morgan Richter comes to Departure from A&E where she had most recently been serving as Director and Executive Producer of non-fiction and alternative programing, overseeing shows such as Hoarders, Flipping Vegas, Fix This Yard and Sell This House, and developing Flipping Boston, My Ghost Story and Flipped Off, among others.

“Jessica is a fantastic addition to Departure with her broad experience on both the network and production sides of the television business. 2013 was a record year for our company. We delivered over 100 episodes of programming and are slated for even more this year. Jessica will be a tremendous asset to Departure as we broaden our development slate and look to continue our growth,” said Departure Films President Max Weissman.

Departure Films is known for such series as The Vanilla Ice Project, Rev Run’s Renovation, The Jennie Garth Project, Million Dollar Contractor, Celebrity House Hunting, Flipping Boston, Flip This House, Bait Car and the soon to launch new primetime series for HGTV Vacation House For Free.

Rev Run’s Renovation: New York Times

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HOME & GARDEN

When Pop Stars Go Into Rehab
By STEVEN KURUTZ
JAN. 8, 2014

When it comes to aging pop stars, we’re used to one sort of renovation — the kind that involves faces being buffed up. But the DIY Network has found a winning formula that involves a more conventional form of renovation and pairing older stars with older homes.

Already, the network plays host to Vanilla Ice and his various home-improvement shows. Now, 2014 brings two more programs in what is shaping up to be a curious genre.

On “Rev Run’s Renovation,” which debuted last week, Rev Run of Run-D.M.C. fame is updating his 9,000-square-foot home in New Jersey. This spring, Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates will bring his 18th-century Connecticut farmhouse back to glory on “Daryl’s Restoration Over-Hall.”

Kathleen Finch, the president of DIY and HGTV, said the shows subvert viewers’ perceptions about pop stars and how they live.

“You imagine glamorous lives in hotels and tricked-out tour buses,” she said. “To see them stand in the Home Depot flooring department, deciding on what color tile like we all do, is a funny, leveling experience.”

Read more: nytimes.com

The Bronson Pinchot Project, AP via the Times Tribune

“HARFORD, Pa. (AP) — For more than a decade, Bronson Pinchot has spent much of his downtime in the picture-book Pennsylvania hamlet where he found a dream home far from the stressful clamor of New York or L.A.

Pinchot likely remains best known as the endearingly naïve, quasi-Mediterranean immigrant Balki Bartokomous from the TV sitcom “Perfect Strangers.” But unlike Balki, Pinchot is by his own admission “fiercely private” and an “introvert that does a pretty convincing performance as an extrovert.” Still, he has decided to open his doors to America via “The Bronson Pinchot Project,” which premiered Feb. 11 on the DIY cable network. In all, eight episodes were shot over 13 weeks…”

Read more: http://thetimes-tribune.com

Reference episode:

The Bronson Pinchot Project: Slate Magazine

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“In The Bronson Pinchot Project, which debuts on the DIY Network this Saturday, the star of Perfect Strangers reveals his lifelong passion for historical properties. When he isn’t acting, Pinchot lives in rural Harford, Pa., where he spends his days working on the half-dozen properties he owns there. The program shows him shopping for gasolier globes and ransacking salvage yards as well as supervising some spectacular transformations. Slate spoke with Pinchot about the series, his attitude to “restoration,” and whether his homes are his friends or…”

Read more: slate.com

The Bronson Pinchot Project: Slate Magazine

Still from Candice Tells All, starring Candice Olson. ©HGTV.
Still from Candice Tells All, starring Candice Olson.
©HGTV.

“On The Bronson Pinchot Project, which debuts on the DIY Network this Saturday, the actor from Perfect Strangers seems a long way from Hollywood. In fact, Balki’s in Harford, Pa., 30 miles north of Scranton, where he spends his days renovating historical properties, rescuing 19th-century clapboards from salvage yards, and concealing his refrigerator behind 200-year-old planks of wood. Pinchot’s show is about…”

Read more: slate.com

NY Times – The Vanilla Ice Project: Season 1

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“After his chart-topping hit, ‘Ice Ice Baby,’ Rob turned his focus on a new hobby, buying land and flipping houses.”

This description of the rapper Vanilla Ice, who was born and remains Robert Van Winkle, comes to us from promotional materials distributed by the DIY Network and bypasses details of his biography — bad reviews, career reversals, experiments in professional wrestling, cameos in low-grossing teen comedies — that have led him to become a Bob Vila with tattoos.

Read more: nytimes.com

The Vanilla Ice Project in the Los Angeles Times

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“The Vanilla Ice Project,” which follows the singer over the course of a single renovation and sale, began its second season on the DIY Network late last month. The first season, which premiered in fall 2010, not only took the network’s home improvement fanatics by surprise but has also helped refurbish the image of the rapper who once seemed destined to be a ’90s punch line.

Read more: ~ Los Angeles Times