We cast members heard the grapevine report that "Bought & Sold" did really well in its first season on HGTV, although nobody from the network ever shared the stats with us. They reran the episodes about a million times, so somebody must have watched.
Presumably, the numbers were there to commence Season 2, a full two years after we completed the Season 1 shoot. Like the first time around, the network chose a fall and winter schedule, when we're just not as busy as the rest of the year. With added market uncertainties, balky buyers and nervous sellers, it was a funny time to follow our stories, but we forged ahead and made it work. Stories like this: Kevin (seen with me, at left) sells his home and moves to a new Manhattan condo, the final step in making a new life after divorce. Bob starts scouting for a condo, still not yet certain he can make the move from his magnificent Victorian home. Holly decides her hedge against economic uncertainty will be to sell the parcel of land she owns next to her own and build a house there.
They somehow turned into REAL stories, thank heaven. My son, Nick, joined the cast this year, along with Sidney Simon, also new to the team. Nick, a trained actor, seemed to glide through his episodes and Sidney, one of the best-dressed women I know, was a natural.
My Season 1 posts were cranky, especially as I waited for the premiere of the show. Being on national TV in a questionable genre seemed incredibly scary, but as it turned out, the producers showed great restraint. The result -- if not the most compelling thing I ever watched -- more than palatable and certainly not embarrassing. I wasn't even embarrassed about the keys-locked-in-the-car episode, although everybody always asks me if I am. As for being recognized, I learned that when you are on a reality show that is not about sex or violence, people identify you in stride. A tap on the shoulder at the mall; a little smile while walking down Fifth Ave. Or, a gentle, "Did I see you on television?" They don't exactly go wild so you don't get much more than a glimpse of fame from this exercise -- which is fine, the way it should be.
You do get the occasional professional perk, though, from performing before a national TV audience., Like the email today from someone who just saw my Season 1 episode on Llewellyn Park, the elegant private, gated community in West Orange, NJ that is is home to some of the most beautiful estates anywhere in this country. After seeing the show, she contacted me to start looking for a home there. Lovely!
Season 2 wrapped yesterday. HGTV is showing a little more zip this time around because, perhaps, we're now kind of...stars. They've invited us to a party to celebrate the first episode, running March 5. We'll be there, even without a red carpet.