‘It’s about everyday transformation, and that’s what makes it so applicable to the international market’

Distributor Cineflix Rights
Producer Pi Productions
Length 6 x 60 minutes
Broadcaster Channel 5 (UK)

Pi Productions’ Channel 5 debut, Dream Home Makeovers, follows interior designer Sophie Robinson as she sets out to help homeowners create a stylish home. 

It is the latest lifestyle series from Pi founder and managing director John Silver, the brain behind format giants MasterChef and Grand Designs. 

This was an immediate draw for distributor Cineflix Rights, with head of acquisitions Richard Life noting that Silver has “an incredible track record in lifestyle formats” and is a “key selling point for our buyers”. 

While Grand Designs follows some of Britain’s most ambitious building projects, Dream Home Makeovers luxuriates in relatability, with renovations taking place in homes ranging from tiny city flats to countryside mansions – offering something for every home and budget.

Without bringing in contractors or large-scale building work, Robinson helps homeowners create dramatic, unique transformations spanning the interior design palette, from colour blocking to minimalism and all-black interiors. The show’s underlying message is that every home can be stylish.

“It’s simple and effective” Life explains. “It’s not a show where you have to knock down walls or buy a new home, it’s about everyday transformation, and that’s what makes it so applicable to the international market. It can work in any circumstance.”

The pandemic is also a factor as people spend increasing amounts of time at home, and Life hopes the series will strike a chord with those considering restyling their homes.

Robinson’s presence as host completes a compelling package, according to Life. A British interior stylist and journalist, she has previously been a lead judge on the first three series of BBC2’s The Great Interior Design Challenge, appearing as a guest judge in the fourth run.

Life says that for shows to travel internationally, having an “immediately likeable, credible and authentic” host like Robinson is crucial. 

Cineflix Rights will look for Dream Home Makeovers to emulate the previous success it has had with its catalogue of property formats, most notably Canadian reality returner Property Brothers.

Although Life acknowledges that British property formats can be harder to sell in North America, he believes the series has great potential both as finished tape and format.

The distributor will focus on the former in the first instance, particularly for major markets such as Scandinavia and Australia. Life also hopes that the visual nature of the series will help it to transcend language barriers.

Its potential has been buoyed by solid ratings on Channel 5 in the UK, drawing audiences above of the slot average.

Life says that C5 audiences dovetail with demographics that “appeal internationally for us”, citing the success of other fact-ent and factual titles in the Cineflix catalogue, such as The World’s Most Scenic Railway Journeys and Ambulance: Code Red.

“Dream House Makeovers plugs into our strategy to focus on shows that can come back time and time again and build volume,” he says.