Could House Hunters Be HGTV’s Gateway Drug?

After 16 years, it's driving the network to record ratings

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Usually by the time a TV franchise hits its 16th year, it has begun running on fumes. But not HGTV's House Hunters, which is going stronger than ever, with the franchise's ratings up 8 percent this year. "House Hunters represents everything that people love about HGTV, all wrapped up in one show, which is buying and loving homes," said the network's president, Kathleen Finch.

The show, which follows homeowners-to-be as they tour three properties and settle on one to purchase, "is appealing to both people who have not yet bought a home and people who have bought a home," said Brian Balthazar, vp, original programming, who oversees the series.

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