‘Bob Vila’ Nailed Shut

Apr 23, 2007  •  Post A Comment

Say goodbye to “Bob Vila” — at least in its original run. CBS Television Distribution has pulled the plug on longtime home-improvement television show host Bob Vila and his eponymous weekly series, which has been averaging a 0.8 household rating this season, flat with last year.

The cancellation of the show ends a 28-year run for Mr. Vila on broadcast TV. He first shot to fame as host of “This Old House” on PBS in 1979 for a decade-long tour before debuting “Bob Vila’s Home Again” in syndication in 1989. That series was renamed “Bob Vila” in 2005.

He has authored 11 books in that time, including a five-book series titled “Bob Vila’s Guide to Historic Homes of America.” In addition, he appears regularly on the Home Shopping Network, where he sells a range of tools under his own brand.

“Bob Vila” experienced a steady decline in ratings over the years due to the proliferation of home improvement channels on cable, including the DIY Network and HGTV, which made him a cornerstone of their programming. DIY currently airs old episodes of “This Old House” as well as “Bob Vila’s Home Again.”

Mr. Vila, 60, hosted his first original weekly cable series, “Restore America With Bob Vila,” on HGTV in 1999; the show took viewers on a state-by-state tour of restored historic buildings, neighborhoods and gardens around the country.