Canceled HGTV Shows We Wish Would Come Back

HGTV has been delighting viewers with shows about home renovations and gardening since 1994. In the nearly three decades that Home and Garden Television has been on the air, there have been countless television shows in which numerous hosts have taught the dos and don'ts of home improvement, becoming household names in the process.

Like any television network, HGTV has had some of the best (and some of the worst) shows on TV. The flops are usually canceled after a season or two, while the more successful shows end up on the air for years. Some of the top-rated HGTV shows viewers can't get enough of would include "Good Bones," "Love It or List It," and "House Hunters," which premiered over 20 years ago. These shows have stuck around for so long because they're just too great to part with. Truly, who doesn't love watching Hilary Farr and David Visentin persuade homeowners to renovate or sell their houses?

Unfortunately, there have also been many HGTV shows that met the chopping block perhaps a bit too soon. What we wouldn't give to see Matt Fox and Shari Hiller putting their interior design skills to use in a reboot of "Room By Room," or to tune in for Paul James' gardening advice as he tends to his organic garden! It seems like HGTV just hasn't been the same since some of these programs have ended, so here are some of the many canceled HGTV shows we wish would come back.

Designers' Challenge

With such a simple yet likable concept, "Designers' Challenge" was a total binge-worthy show that sadly went off the air after 17 seasons. If this was a bit before your time, allow us to recap; the beloved Chris Harrison plays host to one homeowner per episode who is in dire need of assistance from an interior designer. But instead of working with just one designer, three interior designers each come up with a renovation idea for the homeowner who has to decide which custom look fits their needs best. Then, we get to follow along as the selected design comes to life and the team completely transforms the room, making for an exciting and sometimes nail-biting series.

It's a classic HGTV premise, and it's one we'd love to see make a return to our living rooms — especially because Harrison's hosting skills are unrivaled and he was a much-loved figure on "Designers' Challenge" until it was canceled. However, he continued to appear as a staple on television, hosting "The Bachelor," "The Bachelorette," and "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?" for many more years.

In 2021, Harrison stepped away from "Bachelor Nation" amid controversy, as he'd defended a contestant who had liked Confederate flag-related videos on TikTok. Since leaving the franchise, life is very different for Harrison. He's moved away from Los Angeles, opting for a quieter life with his fiancée in Texas. Perhaps a "Designers' Challenge" reboot is just what he needs.

Holmes on Homes

If you haven't heard of Mike Holmes, odds are that you somehow haven't been an avid watcher of HGTV for the last 20 years because that's how long he's been starring in home renovation shows on the network. His first series, "Holmes on Homes," was a hit that ran between 2003 and 2009, but was ultimately canceled. The show followed Holmes as he sought to expose shoddy practices in the renovation industry and saved homeowners from faulty electrical, plumbing, and carpentry work. He showcased his skills by doing the job without cutting corners, in the way it was meant to be done, and was a widely respected handyman for years, continuing to star in and produce shows long after "Holmes on Homes" ended.

Holmes has also been the subject of controversy after he promoted a housing development company that was practicing the very thing he had been preaching against: botched construction jobs. He and his company were listed in an $8 million lawsuit in 2022 by a couple who had bought a "Holmes-approved home," and it has yet to be settled.

Meanwhile, Holmes has continued with his television appearances, with his newest show "Holmes Family Rescue" having been renewed for a second season. But with his name and reputation at stake, this could be the perfect time for him to relaunch "Holmes on Homes," go back to his roots, and prove that he's the expert in stellar renovations that we know and love.

Gardening by the Yard

Let's be honest, HGTV used to have more of a focus on gardening (it's in the name, for crying out loud). That's not to say the current programming isn't great, but when you're reminded about the early days of the network, you realize that it hasn't been the same since certain shows have been canceled. Between 1996 and 2009, "Gardening by the Yard" was must-watch television for green-thumbed HGTV viewers (or those who hoped to develop a green thumb by tuning in and hoping the host's wisdom rubbed off on them — different strokes). The lighthearted series centered around gardening guru Paul James, who tended to his organic garden and revealed his gardening tips and tricks.

Few reality shows make it to 19 seasons on the air, especially ones that don't feature dating, spilled martinis, and tears. Unfortunately, gardening isn't for everyone, and the show's ratings dipped, leading to its cancellation. But today, James is doing well. In 2019, he spoke with Joe Lamp'l on "The Joe Gardener Show" where he expressed his appreciation to HGTV.

"I have no disparaging feelings toward HGTV at all. They were so good to me, they were wonderful. I still know people there that I respect and admire greatly, and I had a good run." With James' cheesy jokes and guidance, his show made for relaxed, easy viewing, and that's one of the many reasons why we'd love to see "Gardening by the Yard" make a return.

Decorating Cents

As exciting as it can be to watch homeowners drop thousands (or millions) on a renovation, it's rarely a relatable concept. That's why "Decorating Cents" was such a fun HGTV program that ran for 32 seasons between 1997 and 2009. Viewers watched host Joan Steffend and the guest designer of the episode work together to remodel entire rooms for under $500 by using creative and innovative methods. From rearranging furniture to repurposing useless items to using low-cost room decorations, "Decorating Cents" was intended to inspire those tuning in to bring life to their own rooms that were in dire need of a refresh, all while sticking to a reasonable budget.

Steffend was a down-to-earth, likable television personality, and we could always do with some more friendly, familiar faces with economic sense on our screens. She has spoken fondly of her time at HGTV through her personal blog, saying, "I laughed more and hugged more people during the 11 years and 400 episodes on 'Decorating Cents' than you can imagine."

This hosting gig opened several doors for her, and she was invited to speak on a range of talk shows and hosted television specials, like the Tournament of Roses Parade. Today, she is the author of several books and speaks to groups about "how kindness to yourself and others is the path to world peace." Now, if she were to bring this optimistic outlook to a "Decorating Cents" reboot, it would certainly come back better than ever.

Secrets from a Stylist

"HGTV Design Star" winner Emily Henderson was the host and stylist of one of the long-lost treasures of HGTV: "Secrets from a Stylist." The show ran for only two seasons and a special, so don't beat yourself up if you've forgotten about this one (but you'll want to catch any reruns you can find). Like many HGTV shows, this series focuses on homeowners who need some guidance; whether it's a couple clashing over how to accessorize their living room or a family needing to modernize their décor, Henderson is there to help transform their homes into the styles they've always dreamed of. It was heartwarming and inspiring, so it was truly a shame to see "Secrets from a Stylist" go off the air.

Thankfully, Henderson is still putting her professional styling skills to good use and is running a blog on her official site with a team of editors and contributors, where they continue to inform and inspire those in need of a redesign. It's clear that this is Henderson's calling, and although "Secrets from a Stylist" wasn't given the years and attention it deserved, we'd love to see the show make a reappearance. We could all use a little reminder on how to refresh, modernize, and make the best use of our spaces.

Hidden Potential

If you love HGTV, you probably know the anticipation and excitement that comes with home makeovers. "Hidden Potential" explored how basic homes could stand out, with the self-made Jasmine Roth at the helm. In an interview with Locale Magazine, she said that she never even intended to end up on television. "I wasn't trying to get a TV show, I was trying to build homes and do something that I love and I was sharing it with, you know, as many people as I could. But when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped all over it."

In "Hidden Potential," Roth navigated how to make homeowners' spaces work best for them with modernized features and redesigned floor plans that stand out from the crowd, all while showcasing her talents and care for each individual project. This show ended in 2019, but it still feels like it's been off the air for far too long, as it only ran for three seasons.

Roth already has another ongoing hit HGTV show, "Help! I Wrecked My House," where she and her team remedy DIY renovation disasters, and she's absolutely killing it. However, we can't help but miss the premise of her canceled series and Roth's ability to bring her unique vision for each home to life. Obviously, Roth has an eye for design and construction, and she's likely to stay with HGTV for years to come, but we can't help but cross our fingers in hopes she'll revisit "Hidden Potential."

Dear Genevieve

Speaking of short-lived shows that deserved more time on the air, we'd be remiss to not include "Dear Genevieve" as one of the canceled HGTV shows we wish would come back. The show, which ran between 2009 and 2012 for a total of six stellar seasons, centered around none other than designer and HGTV superstar Genevieve Gorder. In each episode, homeowners received a visit from Gorder, who sat down to learn their design needs, preferences, and personal stories (a must for every home design show). She then set off on a total remodel of their spaces, leading to teary-eyed, joyful reveals that made all of the hard work worthwhile.

Gorder made a name for herself on a range of networks, from TLC to MTV and Bravo, but it was on HGTV that she hit the big time. In an interview with 6sqft, she revealed how she handled designing for television shows.

"To attack home design you have to have a sense of grace and that means listening, kindness. I believe that truly pays you back," she said. "I wanted relationships that were real and authentic to me as a person; maybe that's a Midwestern thing. And as a trained designer, I also need to make sure that it's always authentic to our field. Because TV isn't always." With so many scripted, rehearsed, and faux-reality shows out there, we'd love to see a "Dear Genevieve" revival shake things up in the world of televised home makeovers.

Designing for the Sexes

If you're familiar with "Designing for the Sexes," then your first thought was probably that its concept wouldn't work today because it's outdated. You'd probably be right, as the HGTV show ran from 1998 until 2010, and the early seasons featured the charmingly British interior designer, Michael Payne, as he attempted to remedy decorating conflicts between couples.

As the name would suggest, the premise of the show put an emphasis on heterosexual couples, and gender stereotypes are played upon throughout. In a 2002 interview with The Washington Post, Payne said, "Men go for technology, like big-screen TVs. Women don't care. Men like white, or beige. Dark beige if they are daring." He added later, "I can't remember a man looking me in the eye and saying the word 'tassels.'"

Times have changed in the last two decades, so it would be exciting to see a more modern reboot of "Designing for the Sexes," with today's standards in mind. We'd also love to see Payne reprise his role as the host, as he has established the Michael Payne Collection by Powell and has clearly kept up with the latest trends. In speaking with The Virginian-Pilot in 2010, he said, "It is very rewarding to know I was one of the very first true reality shows. The show was filmed totally without script. Today the 'reality' shows are often scripted and planned ahead of time. I am glad I was able to bring fine, but affordable, design to the masses."

Room by Room

Among HGTV's classic shows is "Room by Room," which launched Matt Fox and Shari Hiller into the spotlight as a handyman and designer. They had the knowledge needed to inform and inspire viewers to decorate their entire home on a reasonable budget, room by room, while making for a pair of likable and entertaining hosts at the same time. The show aired in 1994, and according to Fox and Hiller's blog, "Room by Room" was "the longest-running decorating show in history, at nearly 14 years." It was also shown "in 90 million homes across the country and internationally." So not only was it a charming, easy-viewing design show, but it was incredibly successful.

Having been one of the first HGTV shows, "Room by Room" was a trailblazer in the industry. As Matt and Shari's blog details, "No other decorating program started with a real situation in a real person's home. No one had ever taken a viewer through the steps of a decorating project, showing the details along the way, and then ending with a finished room. This concept, repeated every week, allowed the viewer to learn the process and begin to apply it to their own home."

Since their HGTV show aired, there's been about a thousand more series with similar premises, but because Fix and Hiller had down-to-earth approaches, and because everyone loves a bit of nostalgia, this is a canceled HGTV show we truly wish would come back.

Curb Appeal

In 1999, HGTV took a step in a different direction with their homeowner how-tos. Instead of following along as interior designers and renovators polished the interior of a house, "Curb Appeal" showed us the importance of doing up your home's exterior. Hosts like John Gidding helped homeowners breathe new life into their shabby-looking house's exteriors, with the help of landscapers and designers. Some of the home makeovers were truly out of this world, and viewers were shocked by the vast difference a fresh paint job and madeover lawn could make.

Gidding went on to host the spinoff in 2010 called "Curb Appeal: The Block," in which the homes on an entire block were done up, so they didn't differ from each other too drastically.

Unfortunately, Gidding announced the ending to "Curb Appeal" in a 2014 Facebook post. "Alas, there was limited interest mainly because design shows aren't faring too well — it's mostly real estate and flipping shows that are gaining viewers," he wrote, announcing his departure from the network. Gidding made a few appearances on the TLC redecorating show "Trading Spaces," and in 2021 returned to HGTV for one season of "Curb Appeal Xtreme." Seeing as how real estate and flipping shows have been all the rage over the last several years, it would be refreshing to see HGTV make a true return to their classic home improvement shows, and for Gidding to come back as the charismatic host of "Curb Appeal."