The producer for "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" said he was more concerned with keeping the Knoxville episode's family comfortable than meeting the build deadline as Tuesday's stormy weather delayed the show's big reveal until today.
"We could virtually do it this evening," George Vershoor, the show's executive producer, said Tuesday night. "But I didn't think it would help to have kids out in the rain and mothers worried about their children."
Although originally set for Tuesday night, the new home now is scheduled to be unveiled to the Watson family of West Knoxville at 10 a.m. today, with colder temps and clearer skies in the forecast.
Daniel Watson, his wife, Mandy, and their three young children have spent most of the past week on vacation in Florida while the Emmy-winning show — along with more than 4,000 local volunteers — demolished the family's dilapidated farmhouse on Robinson Road and replaced it from the ground-up.
An adjoining duplex also was built for Restoration House of East Tennessee, a nonprofit founded and run by the Watsons to serve single mothers and their children.
Ducking out of the rain Tuesday night, Vershoor noted that in addition to the Watsons' three adopted children — Atley, 7, Ava, 6, and Silas, 2 — the nonprofit currently serves five women and 11 children.
"I didn't want 21 cold, tired, wet people out here tonight — it's not only about TV, it's about being considerate," the producer said.
"Overall, (lead builders) Grace Construction and the volunteers this week have done an amazing job. They delivered the house to us on time. It is ready to go, but I made the choice to say, 'I want these kids and moms to be happy. I want them to be happy and joyful.' Why not make them comfortable."
Meanwhile, the extra day was expected to cause few logistical headaches for most of the production team members, many of whom were scheduled to be in Knoxville until Thursday anyway.
More problematic was the site itself. The builders had to rely solely on a muddy, makeshift road off Robinson Road throughout the week as the only access to and from the site.
"Knoxville has challenged us in terms of job site," Vershoor said. "But in terms of the build itself and the volunteers, the Volunteer State has delivered in a huge way."
Spectators are asked to park at Fellowship Church, 8000 Middlebrook Pike. Shuttle service to the site will begin at 6 a.m. Spectators are asked to be in place by 8:30 a.m.
The project will air as a two-hour television special around Thanksgiving this year.
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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