Popular TV show films in Charlotte
By Susan Shinn
CHARLOTTE ó Hollywood came to Charlotte this week, and brought with it a great deal of pride to the east side of the Queen City.
Hundreds of fans showed up outside the King family’s home on Sudbury Road in Charlotte for the “reveal” of their new 5,000-square-foot home, built by ABC’s Extreme Makeover Home Edition.
It was a long, hot and humid afternoon.
“It’s really hot!” the show’s wildly popular host, Ty Pennington, said as he greeted the crowd.
By late morning, the quiet neighborhood had taken on the flavor of a block party, with folks walking the streets, staking out their spots and all of the ABC crew’s RVs and other equipment taking up both sides of the street.
Lots of people sported bright blue Extreme Makeover T-shirts. The show’s crew had some 95 people on site, while more than 6,000 people volunteered to work on the home, according to Patrick Thompson, the show’s location manager.
About 600 actually participated in the weeklong build, he added.
And is it just as exhausting as it looks?
“It’s just another week,” he said.
On Monday, everyone’s hard work came to fruition during the reveal segment of the ABC show. New episodes start Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. Sundays on WSOC-TV.
The famous “Move that bus!” tagline was repeated more than once during the day, by crew members trying to keep up the wilting crowd’s enthusiasm, and then during a few dry runs when the limousine ó without the family inside ó arrived at the house.
The brand-new, two-story house was easy to spot on this street of modest brick ranch homes.
Neighbors didn’t mind the interruptions that came along with the build. Dan Hayes, who has a house nearby, said it had been an exciting week.
“Everybody’s been out watching,” he said, adding that he hoped the event would prove a catalyst for that part of town.
Hayes’ comments were echoed by Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory.
The project, he said, “has gotten the volunteer base rejuvenated to understand the need for affordable housing, especially in this crisis situation.”He added, “It’s brought pride back to the east side of Charlotte.
Look at this enthusiasm. It’s a great unifier. It’s a great private-sector investment from Hollywood.”
Unlike on television when the crowd gathers and then the family arrives to see the house for the first time, real life takes a little longer. The reveal was set for 2 p.m., and that time came and went.
The family finally arrived at the home around 3:30.
High clouds helped the heat a little, but there were a few heat-related injuries.
A gray pick-up truck loaded with cases of bottled water arrived shortly after 2 and volunteers quickly began distributing them.
But it was not the hottest locale the Extreme Makeover team has faced, Thompson said. That would’ve been Arizona.
Yes, but it was a dry heat.
Shannon McClattie, who works for the Rowan County Department of Social Services, is also Carolina Panthers cheerleader.
The Top Cats were on hand Monday to lend their support.
“This is an amazing experience,” McClattie said. “It’s an uplifting situation not only for this family but also for Charlotte. I’m so happy to be able to be here to celebrate with this family. This is truly a blessing.”
Coming Sunday: Read more about the Extreme Makeover Home Edition build in Charlotte in LifeStyle.