CBS Announces ‘Celebrity IOU’ Copycat on Same Day HGTV’s ‘Celebrity IOU’ Season 2 Premieres

“Secret Celebrity Renovation” is building on the Property Brothers’ turf — but who developed the format first?

Zooey Deschanel, Jonathan Scott and Drew Scott on HGTV's "Celebrity IOU"

CBS has ordered “Secret Celebrity Renovation,” which, no matter what you think, is definitely (read: supposedly) not “Celebrity IOU.” It just so happens that the broadcast network announced its brand new series on the same day the HGTV series’ second season premieres.

That’s quite a coincidence — but really, the genesis of “Secret Celebrity Renovation” predates the launch of “Celebrity IOU.” CBS aired a two-part special titled “Superstar Renovation” back in late 2018.

“Celebrity IOU” debuted this past April on HGTV and is the highest-rated freshman series in the channel’s history. That one was developed in June 2018 and “pitched before that,” a person with knowledge of the timeline told TheWrap.

“Secret Celebrity Renovation” will be hosted by “Entertainment Tonight” correspondent Nischelle Turner. The one-hour series “gives celebrities in sports, music and entertainment the chance to gift a surprise home renovation to a meaningful person who helped guide them to success,” according to the logline.

HGTV’s “Celebrity IOU” starring Drew and Jonathan Scott, aka the Property Brothers, is much different. That one “features Hollywood A-listers who express their deep gratitude to the individuals who have had a major impact on their lives by gifting them with heartwarming home renovations that bring everyone to tears,” according to its own logline.

Yeah, you get it. Two totally different series.

Booked for Season 1 of CBS’ “Secret Celebrity Renovation” are Eve (“The Talk”), Wayne Brady (“Let’s Make a Deal”), NBA All-Star Chris Paul, NFL Hall of Famer Emmitt Smith and more.

Contractor Jason Cameron and designer Sabrina Soto will help the CBS celebrity guests make the magic happen for their “individuals who have had a major impact on their lives.” Wait, sorry, that’s “Celebrity IOU.” We mean: for a “meaningful person who helped guide them to success.” Nailed it. (And that’s Netflix.)

“Behind the lights and glamour, actors, musicians and athletes are real people who wouldn’t be who or what they are today without some help along the way,” Robert Horowitz, executive producer of “Secret Celebrity Renovation,” said in a statement on Monday. “Returning to their hometowns for a heartfelt walk down memory lane to thank a special person in their lives gives every episode of ‘Secret Celebrity Renovation’ so much depth and emotion.”

“Secret Celebrity Renovation” is produced by Horowitz’s Juma Entertainment. Horowitz, Lewis Fenton and Peter DeVita are the executive producers.

“Celebrity IOU” Season 2 premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV. The celebrity guest on Episode 201 is Zooey Deschanel, Jonathan Scott’s girlfriend. The happy Scotts are pictured together above. We’ll see if CBS’ new announcement sours their chipper mood.


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