Terry Morrow: Knoxville reunites for tonight's 'Extreme Makeover: Home Edition'

Actress Jenny  McCarthy, center, stands with the Watson family as she encourages Silas Watson into cheering during the filming of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

Photo by Saul Young, copyright © 2012 // Buy this photo

Actress Jenny McCarthy, center, stands with the Watson family as she encourages Silas Watson into cheering during the filming of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

When the family of Daniel and Mandy Watson watch the episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" featuring them tonight, it's going to be a community affair.

A viewing party — more like a viewing spectacular — will include the Watsons along with dozens of friends, family and volunteers who helped the ABC reality show build their new home almost a year ago. ABC is airing the episode (at 9 p.m. today, WATE, Channel 6) as the first of four holiday- themed episodes being packaged as "Extreme Makeover" specials on the schedule.

ABC canceled "Extreme Makeover" earlier this year because of low ratings.

To give this particular episode a ratings boost, ABC scheduled "Extreme Makeover" this week to air immediately after the season finale of "Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars," the network's highest-rated weekly program.

The community is invited to the event, which begins 7:30 p.m. in the Tennessee Theatre. Admission is free.

None of the "Extreme Makeover" crew from the series will be there, though a video message may play at the event. Seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Refreshments will be available for purchase in the theater lobby.

In a week, crews built a 3,500-square-foot home.

The Watsons helped start and run Restoration House, aimed at helping single mothers get back on their feet.

Because of the new house built by the volunteers and the TV show, "we feel like we are no longer personally hindered," Mandy says. "We have felt a lot of revival in our home and in our family."

The Watsons are encouraging other viewing parties and ask that pledges be made at the parties for Restoration House.

Terry Morrow may be reached at 865-342-6445 or morrowt@knoxville.com.

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