HGTV and DIY Networks Shutter Operations; Face FCC Regulations and Class-Action Lawsuit

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Popular real estate networks HGTV and DIY could be in hot water legally.
Popular real estate networks HGTV and DIY could be in hot water legally.

Popular real estate and renovation cable TV networks House and Garden Television (HGTV) and DIY Network shuttered operations today in the wake of recent FCC legislation and a class-action lawsuit from appliance manufacturers.

The chilling and sweeping legislation by the FCC, bans the words “charm” and “character” (among others) from the nation’s airwaves. It also expands beyond words to include visuals and gestures. For example, stenciling cloying words and phrases on walls is now unbroadcastable as is televising images of vessel and farmhouse sinks.

“We had to do something to protect the English language from collapsing into the trite and overused vocabulary propagated by these television shows,” stated FCC chairman Tom Wheeler at a press conference. “These programs are seen worldwide and do a disservice to the variety of the English language and the reputation of the United States. Frankly, it was an embarrassment we failed to correct with reality TV a long time ago,” he continued.

Gestures are a completely new category that some say shows the FCC has run amok. TV shows are now banned from showing homeowners forming a “hand-teepee” over their nose when seeing the “reveal.” Fines will reportedly be doubled if the teepee is followed by fanning (crocodile) tear-stained eyes.

HGTV tried to comply with the new rules without success. Steven Lerner, HGTV and DIY network Vice-President of Programming said, “After we bleeped out the banned words, we knew we were doomed.” He continued, “House Hunters had more bleeps than a Lisa Lampanelli concert sandwiched between Sesame Street and Mr. Rodgers.”

The network soon realized shows like House Hunters weren’t alone. Renovation shows, now unable to speak of “potential,” “man caves,” and “pops of color,” were also doomed. This left the network with late night infomercials to pay the bills.

Ashley and Steven Walton went on 'House Hunters' in 2010 to find 881 Berkinshire. They're now selling the Old Lake Highlands home.
Ashley and Steven Walton went on ‘House Hunters’ in 2010, but will we never see the episode where they find their new Dallas home again? What will serenade us to sleep if not the placid voice of Suzanne Whang?

As the news filtered to the network’s show hosts, there were many (now banned) forced group hugs and bro-y back slaps exchanged.

In separate news, a class-action lawsuit has been filed against HGTV and DIY by appliance manufacturers Sub Zero Wolf, Viking, Gaggenau and Thermador claiming the networks are culpable for deceptive trade practices for allowing any appliance with a glued-on stainless steel panel to be called “top of the line.” “We’ve been continually insulted by HGTV and DIY lumping a $500 range into the same category as an  actual $6,500 top-of-the-line Wolf range,” quipped Jim Bakke, president and CEO of Sub-Zero and Wolf.

Cynthia Gibson, EVP and Chief Legal Officer for Scripps Networks, owners of HGTV and DIY responded to the suit, calling it “frivolous” and “without merit” as she herself has a kitchen full of Hotpoint appliances left to her by her grandmother that she described as “top-of-the-line to me.”

Complete list of FCC-banned words:

  • Charm, Character, Deserve, Potential, Farmhouse Sink, Mosaic Backsplash, Authentic, Man Cave, Handcrafted and “Pop of Color”.



Oh … April Fools!


Remember: Do you have an HOA story to tell? A little high-rise history? Realtors, want to feature a listing in need of renovation or one that’s complete with flying colors? Shoot Jon an email. Marriage proposals accepted (as soon as they’re legal in Texas)!

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Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson is's condo/HOA and developer columnist, but also covers second home trends on An award-winning columnist, Jon has earned silver and bronze awards for his columns from the National Association of Real Estate Editors in both 2016, 2017 and 2018. When he isn't in Hawaii, Jon enjoys life in the sky in Dallas.

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