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Trading on attraction of 'Spaces'

Sunday, March 23, 2003

Call it cashing in on a cult phenomenon. Coming this fall to a store near you will be home-related items spun off from "Trading Spaces," the reality series on TLC (the network formerly known as The Learning Channel). The show looks in on neighbors who -- with the help of a relentlessly can-do crew of carpenters and designers -- get two days and $1,000 to make over a room in each other's homes. For those who haven't yet gotten hooked, the show is the network's No. 1-rated program.
"Our anchor partner in the home fashions' area is Springs Industries," says Sharon Markowitz Bennett, senior vice president of strategic partnerships for Discovery Communications, parent company of TLC. "We'll be doing bedding and bath products, accessories for the bedroom and bathroom, fabrics, window treatments and rugs, to name just a few of the categories. Among licensees are Town & amp; Country Living, Alsy Lighting, Ellery Homestyles and Fetco."
Another partner is Hasbro, which is developing a family board game due out by Christmas. Products in the pipeline include kits for crafts such as stenciling, decorating lampshades and framing pictures.
And while the show is on a roll: Look for the release later this month of the first of several volumes Discovery plans to put out with Meredith Books. "Trading Spaces: Behind the Scenes" ($19.95) has tips, bios and photo spreads.