Secret Sauce Factors Found in HGTV’s Best Shows Ever

Any HGTV superfan knows the network is doing just fine, and that the shows aren’t going anywhere anytime soon — at least not because they have to, anyway. But what is it about these shows that completely captivates our attention for hours on end? Well, we’re glad you asked, because we’re about to reveal seven secret sauce factors every mega-successful HGTV show has in common.

1. The shows follow the same formula

Joanna gaines filming

People buy, renovate, and sell property on most HGTV shows. | Joanna Gaines via Facebook

Whether you’re a loyal Property Brothers viewer or you’re a tried-and-true Fixer Upper fan, chances are, you probably like most of the shows on HGTV. And that’s because the network relies on a genre of hit shows as opposed to a single series, a business model Allison Page, general manager of HGTV, describes as “the magic.”

“There’s a sense that if you like one show, you’re probably going to like the next one you try,” Page told USA Today. “There’s just a fascination with and relatability of the genre.” And clearly, it’s a genre people love. As the Los Angeles Times explains, the network delivers “ever-so-slight variations on the same theme: people buying, renovating and selling property.”

Next: Curious to see what someone else’s home looks like?

2. The shows offer viewers a glimpse inside another person’s home — and life

Property brothers clients working

The homeowners can’t hide. | Property Brothers via Facebook

Ever wander your street at night hoping to catch a peek inside your neighbor’s lit-up home? Admit it, you do. And we do, too. After all, it’s only natural to be curious about other people’s homes, especially if you’re obsessed with interior design, home improvement, and real estate.

Lucky for us, HGTV scratches that ever-curious itch. According to the Los Angeles Times, HGTV is “a favorite go-to destination for affluent, educated viewers, particularly women, unable to resist taking a voyeuristic glimpse into other people’s domestic lives and engage in a bit of risk-free real estate speculation.”

Next: We can all relate. 

3. The hosts are relatable

Joanna and Chip Gaines sitting on couch

Many HGTV hosts have become household names. | Joanna Gaines via Facebook

Chip and Joanna Gaines may be HGTV’s sweethearts, but there are plenty of other duos with relatable personalities, too. And really, we all know its the hosts who are the real bread and butter of the network.

Whether you love watching Jonathan and Drew Scott’s brotherly love or you’re rooting for Hilary Farr over David Visentin on the latest episode of Love It or List It, each of HGTV’s successful shows feature folks who are just like us. Well, minus the TV fame and real estate and home improvement chops, of course.

Next: The shows are a welcome break.

4. The easy-to-watch shows offer relief from our everyday

Flip or Flop Tarek and Christina El Moussa

They’re light viewing. | HGTV

After a long day of work or rearing children — or both — not everyone wants to dive into a heavy drama on prime time. Some people just want to kick their feet up and enjoy something a little lighter. And who could blame them?

Combine cable TV’s abundance of over-dramatized shows with a consistently gloomy news cycle, and it’s clear to see why we love HGTV so much; it provides a much-needed escape, with charming personalities and stunning homes to boot.

Next: Ah, satisfaction

5. The shows are satisfying

Fixer Upper Hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines show the Gaspars a photographic banner of their home in its original state, before revealing the newly renovated exterior.

There are no cliffhangers. | HGTV

After a suspenseful episode of Breaking Bad, you’re thinking, “What in the world just happened?” After a soothing episode of Fixer Upper, on the other hand, you’re thinking, “Well, that was nice. Maybe I’ll get to some redecorating this weekend. Time for bed.” And how nice is that?

Additionally, and perhaps most importantly, you know exactly what you’re getting with every HGTV episode. There’s a beginning, middle, and an end. No cliffhangers to be had, and that is a beautiful thing.

Next: Got half a day to spare?

6. The shows are tailor-made for binge-watching


You can easily watch several episodes at a time without realizing it. | Jason Davis/Getty Images for HGTV

In today’s TV-viewing landscape, binge-watching is all the rage. It’s undoubtedly the preferred way consumers get their fill of entertainment. And while we may have Netflix to thank for that, we have HGTV to thank for catching on.

“One reason for HGTV’s success is that they’re like the Lay’s potato chips of television, You can’t watch just one show,” Country Living writes. “We’ve all been there: You turn on Property Brothers on Saturday morning while you’re folding laundry and suddenly it’s time to make dinner and you’re knee-deep into a Beachfront Bargain Hunt marathon.”

Next: And just like that, it’s over. 

7. The shows give us instant gratification

Property Brothers

You see the hard work pay off right away. | Property Brothers via Instagram

Home improvement on your own property is a total pain. Home improvement on somebody else’s property, though? Well, that’s another story. Not only are HGTV shows enjoyable, but they turn a not-so-pleasant concept into an easily-digestible television segment. Impressive? You bet.

“In real life, these things are challenging but the process is converted into a satisfying half-hour,” Page told Country Living. “There’s a before, during, and after in one TV show—so, you basically get to the happy ending very quickly.”

So, which HGTV show will you be watching this evening?

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