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Series / This Old House

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This Old House is an ongoing PBS television program that started airing in 1979 about the process of rehabilitating old houses and making them look more attractive. The show started out as a local program before making the move to national television beginning in the fall of 1980. The original host was Bob Vila, who hosted the program for 10 seasons before being fired when his commercial commitments endangered funding for the series. Steve Thomas, his successor, would run things for 14 years before being replaced with Kevin O'Connor. Master carpenter Norm Abram is another major player in the series, and for two decades he had his own program, The New Yankee Workshop.

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This series has a spinoff called Ask This Old House, where the folks from This Old House answer viewer-submitted questions related to home repair and improvement.

Read recaps of each episode here.

Could use some wiki magic love.


This Old House is brought to you by the following tropes:

  • Call-Back: During the first season finale, Bob Vila shows real estate appraiser John Hewitt and the viewers a clip from the series premiere where they went through the unrestored kitchen. As with practically everything else about the house, the kitchen is unrecognizable between the start of the season and the end.
  • Captain Obvious: During one Dorchester episode, when Bob Vila shows a '30s photograph with a person to the side, he points out that the person is not him.
  • Creative Closing Credits: The first several seasons had the closing credits printed on a set of blueprints.
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  • Early-Bird Cameo: Before he started hosting the program, Kevin O'Connor appeared as a guest on Ask This Old House.
  • Long-Runners: The show has been on the air for 40 years as of writing.
  • Signing Off Catchphrase: Each episode ends with every person currently on camera saying their name and the the host saying "For This Old House".
    • This is a later development and probably a reaction to the first host's method. Bob Vila's standard close was simply, "I'm Bob Vila for This Old House," regardless of who else was on camera.
  • Syndication Title: Episodes aired for several years in The '90s on TLC as The Renovation Zone.
  • Theme Tune Cameo: On occasional episodes, including the ninth episode of the first season and the fourth season premiere, "Louisiana Fairytale" would play out of turn.
  • Very Special Episode: The series has had a few mid-season projects that fell into this category. The series spent a few episodes visiting New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina and the Jersey Shore post Sandy. One three-episode project focused on the ground-up construction of new homes for U.S. war veterans. By far the most special full-length season remembered by fans was in 1999, when Master Carpenter Tom Silva and his family lost their home to a fire and the show helped them rebuild.
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