Bob Vila is being evicted from his home at CBS – The syndication outfit has pulled the plug on Bob Vila’s Home Again, ending a 28-year run on television. Low ratings and sub par weekend time periods (i.e. between midnight and 8 a.m.) apparently are to blame.
Bob Vila began hosting PBS’ This Old House in 1979, but was dropped from the show ten years later after he started endorsing Sears’ Craftsman products – a move that angered producers from House, who’s show was underwritten by its rival, the now-defunct Montgomery Ward & Co. (Vila was replaced by Steve Thomas.)
In 1989, he signed a deal with Group W Productions, to host a weekly syndicated show originally named Home Again with Bob Vila to debut the following year (Vila’s new syndicated show was sponsored in part by Sears.) It later became Bob Vila’s Home Again, and two years ago became just Bob Vila.
Group W merged with CBS in 1995, and bought King World in 1999. Eyemark (CBS’ other syndication unit), took over distributing Vila. Since 2000, the program has been a King World property. Last year, CBS folded its CBS Paramount and King World divisions into CBS Television Distribution.
This marks the second time in the last few weeks that a veteran syndicated weekly series has called it quits. Last month, The George Michael Sports Machine ended its run after 24 years.
Reruns of Bob Vila’s shows (including This Old House) are available on the DIY channel. Bob Vila also appeared on Home Improvement, as a rival on Tim Allen’s Tool Time show. (Allen returned the favor by appearing on Vila’s syndicated show in 1992.)