My wife is a big fan of all the home-design shows that are on TV, so I end up watching a lot of them also, including "Flip This House" on A&E. The show follows people who buy homes, remodel them, and then try to sell them for a higher price. It can be entertaining, but I wasn't surprised to read that at least one of the house flippers featured on the show, Atlanta businessman Sam Leccima, was a fake:
McGee and others say Leccima's episodes of Flip This House, A&E's most popular show, were elaborate hoaxes. His friends and family were presented as potential home buyers and ``sold'' signs were slapped in front of unsold houses. They say the home repairs -- the lynchpin of the show -- were actually quick or temporary patch jobs designed to look good on camera.
Leccima said he never claimed to own the homes. While not acknowledging his televised renovations were staged, he didn't deny it and suggested that A&E and Departure Films, the production company that makes the show, knew exactly what he was doing.
"Ask anybody who works in television how a reality show is made and you'll find that ours was a very typical approach,'' Leccima said in a telephone interview.
But actually, there's really no need for 'Flip This House' to fake episodes, because often the most entertaining episodes are the ones where the people have no clue what they're doing and end up saddled with a home they can't sell. (At least, I find those episodes to be the most entertaining.)