Terry Morrow: 'Extreme Makeover' returns to ABC with Knoxville-based episode

AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL
The Watson Family, front left to right, Ava, Mandy, Silas and Daniel, give interviews to the media outside of the family's home which was chosen for renovation for the ABC show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, in west Knoxville on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012.

Photo by Amy Smotherman Burgess, ©KNS/2011 // Buy this photo

AMY SMOTHERMAN BURGESS/NEWS SENTINEL The Watson Family, front left to right, Ava, Mandy, Silas and Daniel, give interviews to the media outside of the family's home which was chosen for renovation for the ABC show "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, in west Knoxville on Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012.

Get out your hankies. "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" — canceled earlier this year — is back for a four-week holiday-theme run beginning with its Knoxville episode.

Shot earlier this year, the opener (9 p.m. Monday, WATE, Channel 6) focuses on the Watson family from West Knoxville. They gave up their careers to open Restoration House, a ministry for single mothers.

Daniel and Mandy Watson have three adopted children and are helping other women with children get their lives together by helping them organize their lives and get on track with jobs and education.

In doing so, the Watsons sacrificed their own comfort, living in a worn-down country house with rotted floors and water leaking from the pipes.

Hundreds of volunteers lent a helping hand, including a Knoxville construction company that helped commandeer the project, and the TV show's usual team of design experts brought their touch to every inch.

"It's far less stressful in this new house," Daniel says. "It has changed our day-to-day lives. We're a lot less stressed, and the kids are a lot less stressful.

"When mom and dad are stressed, the kids pick up on that. It has allowed us to focus on the passions in our lives, like advocacy … and helping out."

An agreement with ABC prevents the Watsons from turning around and selling the house for a year — not that they'd do that.

Their new home is 1,500-square feet larger than their old one and is valued at twice as much. A solar energy system offsets the expense of warming and heating the place.

Ten months after "Extreme Makeover" did their good deed for them, the Watsons are still trying to navigate their lives.

"People are always asking if our lives have gotten back to normal," Daniel says. "I say we're finding out our new normal."

Other highlights for the week of Nov. 25 to Dec. 1. All times Eastern. Listings subject to change. Check local listings:

SUNDAY

n "Downton Abbey Revisited" (8 p.m. PBS). Late to the "Downton Abbey" experience? Well, loser, here's your chance to be find out what it's all about. This special with Angela Lansbury will look at the series, the major players and storylines in time for the new season starting in January.

MONDAY

n "Hitched For The Holidays" (8 p.m. Hallmark Channel). Two New Yorkers — one is a Christian and the other is Jewish — try to fool their families during the holidays when they spend time with them in this family friendly film.

n "Dancing with the Stars: All Stars" (8 p.m. ABC). The winner of this season is announced and then goes back to obscurity.

n "Great Performances: Rod Stewart, Merry Christmas Baby" (8 p.m. PBS). The rocker who once asked the question "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" now is covering holiday classics.

TUESDAY

n "Rizzoli & Isles" (9 p.m. TNT). Five new episodes pick up from last summer as Jane's younger screwed-up brother finds out he's going to be a dad, and Lydia abandons her newborn on Jane's front porch.

WEDNESDAY

n "Love You, Mean It with Whitney Cummings" (10:30 p.m. E!). Whitney Cummings launches a weekly talk show about love, life and her take on celebrity happenings.

THURSDAY

n "30 Rock" (8 a.m. NBC). Gentlemen, Liz Lemon is officially off the market after tonight's episode.

n "Rocket City Redneck" (9 p.m. National Geographic Channel). Launching a second season, the reality show about an innovator and self-proclaimed redneck looks at his latest innovations — such as a tsunami-proof survival pod.

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Comments » 2

kingofnone writes:

"Exteme"? I majored in English, may I edit your newspaper, please?

rwise (staff) writes:

in response to kingofnone:

"Exteme"? I majored in English, may I edit your newspaper, please?

Typo has been corrected. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

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