05 January 2017

Chip and Joanna Gaines of HGTV's Fixer Upper

Home & Garden Television is the mac and cheese of cable -- video comfort food. And, like that perennial favorite, it sells very well. Last year, HGTV was the third-most-watched cable network after ESPN and Fox News.

In a recent feature on the company, Bloomberg’s Gerry Smith attributed the network’s success to the “escapist appeal of looking at other people’s beautiful homes” in a year rife with conflict. “The relentlessly pleasant programming is a comfort, especially in hard times,” he wrote.

But there’s more to HGTV’s appeal than mere blandness. “It’s not easy to create content that people are passionate about and somewhat addicted to that is somewhat repetitive,” Ken Lowe, chief executive of parent company Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., told Smith. HGTV’s shows succeed because they tap deep longings.

Read the full story here.

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