Can The Block boys score a Home Run?

Big Brother may have been eliminated this year, but Nine’s newest show in development could be hoping to take its place next year.

Home Run, developed by The Block’s Julian Cress and David Barbour is described as “the biggest renovation competition to hit Australian television.”

The show will air on the Nine Network in the first-half of 2009, Monday-Friday. If it is stripped as a 7pm show, it could attempt to go where TEN’s renovation contest, The Hothouse, failed.

Across the series interior designers will battle it out as they make over everyday Australian family homes. The homes will be the stage where “the designers will wage war on each other until only one remains and takes out the ultimate prize.”

The Block, and more recently, The Chopping Block, have proven that Australians have a huge appetite for a new approach to makeover shows” says Julian Cress. “They are shows that combine many of the DIY elements viewers are familiar with but add an element of human drama because the audience gets to live the renovation experience with the contestants.

Home Run comprises not just an ongoing competition between the designers but an elimination every week.

“We always try to take each new show to a new level and we’re very excited about making Home Run,” says Cress.

Last month Nine was looking for applicants in a house with two or more bedrooms that’s due for a makeover. The network is also pushing for product placement and marketing integration including “computers for design, cars for shopping, tools for construction and phones.”

However, the development of Home Run could come at the expense of a supposed 2009 return for The Block.

Photo: Stock Image


  1. They didn’t exactly promise a return of the Block, they said they would bring us “The Block on steroids” – implying a new ramped-up format. This is it.

  2. Looks like it will be worse than Hothouse.
    Julian Cress and David Barbour look more and more like one trick ponies.

    This type of programming on Nine at 7pm slot, will hardly bring back viewers.
    Something new, something bold, something that is given a chance

    Nah, forget it…Nine willrecycle 20-1, 2 and half men, Ramsay etc…till all viewers give up on them

  3. Can’t say it would interest me greatly but may catch some of it especially if it’s on at 7pm. But i would have to agree that Nine are tapping into a vein here and it will likely be a moderate hit.

  4. The block was sucessful because it was aired in an age where there was some obsession with renovation shows, backyard blitz, ground force, the block, auction squad, hothouse, location location, changing rooms etc. (bit like the way we have an obsession with factuals now)

    i think the networks are trying to recreate that age but its not happening; battlefronts, jamies, and the chopping block all struggle for numbers (DB and BH&G being exceptions)

    i cannot see this one working either

  5. The Chopping Block has been bombing in the ratings – its not quite the hit Nine are making it out to be. However, I’m all for them axing 2.5 men’s weekly re-re-re-re-re-re-reruns in favour of them trying something new. Given Australia’s irrational obsession with shows like this, Domestic Blitz, Battlefronts, Backyard Blitz, and all the other backyard renovation shows, this will be a hit for sure

  6. I liked The HotHouse and I have noticed that lately I am spending less money on travel and more on doing up the house.

    I think it’s a trend that as economic times get worse people will start improving their houses more and start taking less long haul or even medium haul trips around the world.

    Nine is touching on a vein there definitely, but whether a stripped show will work I’m not sure. I think there should be an alternative to the shows that Ten and Seven will be showing, a show where you can dip in and out without having to have a commitment to the show.

    That’s where Taken Out failed. The same people night after night – it’s a commitment show. If it were different people every night then people wouldn’t have to watch it every night to get the in jokes later in the week “I see you left your light on, that’s a first”.

  7. From what I have heard, this is “The Block” 2009 version.

    Now the bit question is which timeslot is this going to run in? 5:30 to lead into the news, 7pm to replace 2 and half men or maybe another timeslot later in the night – it is a big investment so I would expect the network will want it in front of as many people as it can get. Anything earlier than 7 or 7:30pm would be a waste for the sponsors but then the NRL commitments on Friday nights does kind of lock it into a 7pm timeslot.

    Given that Jamie’s contract is up at Seven, do you think he will be back to host this or will Nine wheel out the usual suspects – Richard Wilkins, Catrina, Eddie ?. Im going to go with Tim Campbell for host

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