Jeff Lewis Reveals How Hollywood Houselift Changed From Its Initial Format - Exclusive

We've all heard stories about television shows getting rebranded — or even recast — as time has passed. For instance, did you know that Uncle Jesse wasn't always Uncle Jesse in "Full House"? So many changes are made during production that it can be challenging to keep up, but the subtle differences are often for the better. This isn't just applicable to fiction work, either — the same logic can be applied to reality programming, home design shows, and more. After all, with more time comes a better perspective and ample opportunity to create an authentic show, rather than a piece of work that feels off-putting.


It may surprise you to learn that home-flipper and reality TV veteran Jeff Lewis experienced a production shakeup in the early days of his new series, "Hollywood Houselift." Having starred in shows including "Flipping Out," Lewis was no stranger to the production experience, but his new venture developed in an organic way that was a far cry from its original format. Amid the show's drop on Amazon FreeVee, we sat down with Lewis for an exclusive interview and chatted about all things related to the show. From celebrity clients to pandemic lessons to changes in production, Lewis told us that the finished show was quite a bit different than originally planned.

Jeff Lewis workshopped the initial pitch until he found a collaborative team

When it comes to any new venture, it's incredibly important to find a team that you jive with — trying to get anything done in a collaborative space, especially when there are disagreements, is an uphill battle. When Jeff Lewis knew that his show, "Flipping Out," wasn't going to be picked up for a Season 12, he kicked the creative juices into gear and went to Netflix with a new show premise. But as he told us during our exclusive interview, it wasn't meant to be.


"I negotiated and worked with Netflix for six months, [but] couldn't really find the right show, right deal. By my choice, we left Netflix, and went to Amazon," Lewis told us. "Immediately, on day one, I knew. I walked in like, 'This is my home, I love these executives. We're all on the same page.' [They're] very creative people, and the development deal happened immediately."

Of those early development days, Lewis told us that the show that was initially discussed "morphed" into something entirely different — and very unique.

"It was supposed to be a more loosely formatted, more produced show. It wasn't. It was really more of a docu-soap, but with celebrities," Lewis confessed.

He was joined by a seasoned pro who helped curate the show's finished look

To bring the newly formatted show to life, Jeff Lewis knew that he needed a seasoned pro by his side, so they brought the showrunner from "Flipping Out" into the project. Telling us that the showrunner simply let the cameras roll, Lewis and his team were much more able to bring a sense of authenticity to the screen.


"There was no, 'Okay, Ashley. You say this and Jeff's going to say that,' it was nothing like that," Lewis said. "It was like a documentary, which is what I love, because I'm not an actor and it would be forced and weird. They let it go, and it ended up being a little bit more of my personal life than I thought."

Explaining that the final show ended up being about a 25-75 ratio between scenes shot in his own home versus in celebrity clients' homes, Lewis expressed that a huge aspect of "Hollywood Houselift” was finding a format that worked. Clearly, the team found their stride.

"Hollywood Houselift" premiered on Amazon FreeVee on June 10 and will drop new episodes every Friday through July 29.