Lara Spencer gave Good Morning America viewers a sneak peek today of her new Everything But The House show premiering 9 p.m. Friday, March 19, on HGTV.
Then she commented more in HGTV's official announcement of the show: "A house overrun with stuff can be daunting. Our team of treasure hunters empties the whole house to find hidden surprises that could be worth hundreds, even thousands, of dollars at auction," says Spencer, an executive producer on the new series produced with the Blue Ash-based online auctioneer.
Everything But The House will debut with back-to-back episodes 9-10 p.m. Friday, HGTV announced today. The series has been in the works for more than three years.
Below is my Feb. 4 story with EBTH co-founder Jacquie Denny about the HGTV show.
Denny and nine other EBTH staffers helped seven families declutter, downsize, distribute or monetize items from homes or estates in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut late last summer. Each of the seven episodes ends with Denny and Spencer revealing how much a family made from turning their clutter into cash from an EBTH online auction.
"Do you have treasures hiding in plain sight in your house?" GMA co-host Spencer told ABC viewers in the 8 a.m. hour. "You can watch our team of expert treasure hunters find your hidden gems and make families dreams' come true."
Spencer, a second-hand market expert, also hosts HGTV's Emmy-winning Flea Market Flip. The HGTV release describes the series this way:
"From the basement to the attic, Lara and the appraisal team, including Jacquie Denny, co-founder of the estate sale and auction website Everything But The House, scour homes with a fine-tooth comb to find potentially valuable items that can be listed in competitive online auctions. There’s one catch: the promise of big rewards comes with a little risk. To attract millions of eager buyers who want to purchase everything from hand-me-downs and knick-knacks to antique furniture and collectible sneakers, the team begins the bidding at just one dollar."
In the premiere, "a mother ready to retire joins forces with Lara to sort through her lifetime collection of porcelain figurines, decorative sculptures and antique purses. To help meet her $10,000 goal, her son offers his own sports memorabilia, toys and trading cards from childhood." The seven new episodes, shot late last summer, features families with collectible Barbie dolls, art, jewelry, turntables and old coins.
HGTV will air two episodes of Everything But The House 9-10 p.m. on Fridays through April 2, then air a single show at 9 p.m. on April 9 and April 16. Each episode of the new series will be available the same day and time on HGTV GO at 9 p.m. Fridays beginning March 19.
Original Feb. 4 post: Co-founder Jacquie Denny is ready to spread the word to national TV viewers about Everything But The House.
She wasn't quite ready when someone suggested doing a TV show back in 2008.
"From the second year that Brian (Graves) and I had this business, people kept saying, 'You ought to do TV.' And we said, 'We're too busy,' " says Denny, chief development officer for the Blue Ash-based online auctioneer.
Denny finally had the time last summer. She and 10 employees spent three months shooting seven Everything But The House shows with Lara Spencer from ABC's Good Morning America and HGTV's Flea Market Flip. HGTV is expected next week to announce a March premiere for the show.
The EBTH team helped seven families declutter, downsize, distribute or monetize items from homes in New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. The shows end with Denny and Spencer revealing how much the family made from an EBTH online auction.
Although some families used the proceeds to provide financial security or reach a monetary goal – such as a vacation or a college fund – "it's not always about selling stuff," Denny says.
"This can give people closure. For some families, it's a social archeology. We go through the things with people. We help them decide what they can donate, and how to split up some items with siblings, and which items have the most value" on the second-hand market, she says.
EBTH shows viewers how a "terrible loss or a life change can turn into the best thing that happened," she says.
It wasn't glamorous or easy. Some places were a tight squeeze for the 10 EBTH experts and a TV production crew to work for a week at one location under pandemic protocols.
"The worst thing about the East Coast is that most of the older homes don't have central air conditioning," she says. "In some places it was 110 degrees in the attic by 1 p.m."
They helped siblings and their mother sort through classic dolls and other valuable items as she downsized her New Jersey home. Another show features a New York couple who moved to the family farm with an art collection they didn't appreciate.
"They thought it was the ugliest art they've ever seen," Denny said. The couple was surprised to learn that their "museum quality art collection" was worth thousands.
The history of the EBTH television show is almost as complicated as the company's story. Denny and Graves lost control of EBTH when they sold a majority stake in 2012 to a local investor, who greatly expanded operations. The co-founders, who had stayed involved in the company, re-acquired the financially struggling company for $3.5 million in 2019.
The TV show effort was started under previous managers in 2017, "and Brian and I were not asked to be in it," Denny says. Spencer, who has hosted Flea Market Flip since 2012, "got wind of" the EBTH television project early on and championed it, Denny says.
A pilot episode aired a year later – on May 20, 2018 – with Spencer as "narrator and creator," along with EBTH former executives Andrew and Jonathan Nielsen as co-hosts. All three were listed as executive producers.
Days after Denny and Graves resumed control of the local e-commerce site in 2019, HGTV ordered new episodes. A new pilot was filmed that fall with Spencer and Denny, but it didn't debut until shortly before Thanksgiving 2020, after the additional seven shows were in the can.
"We got a lot of positive feedback. People loved it," Denny says about the pilot.
Spencer and EBTH are in excellent hands. They've partnered with High Noon Entertainment, which has a very impressive cable TV resume: HGTV's Fixer Upper, Good Bones and Restored By the Fords; Food Network's Unwrapped; TLC's Cake Boss; Animal Planet's Dr. Dee: Alaska Vet; Nat Geo Wild's Dog Impossible and Pupparazzi; the Weather Channel's Hurricane Hunters; Netflix's Southern Survival; and Travel Channel's Extreme Screams and Extreme Waterparks.
Contents from the seven houses were transported back to Blue Ash for the online sale, "because that's where we ship items from," Denny says. Online bidders were told in September and October that the items were involved with a television show, "but we didn't say what TV show." Then Denny flew back to New York to film the finales presenting each family with a check.
Despite the long days and hot houses, Denny says she hopes to shoot more shows with Spencer.
"It was a wonderful time," she says. "At 65, who would have thought that anyone would want to see me on TV?"