Brad and Heather Fox, partners in Fox Homes, are extending their run as HGTV stars. The network announced this week that the Edina couple's show, "Stay or Sell," which aired as a pilot last summer, has been picked up for an eight-show run starting next summer.
The reality home-makeover show will follow the Foxes, both Realtors and renovators, as they help Twin Cities clients renovate their current home or buy and remodel another nearby.
Expect to see a lot of local sights, local artisans – and extreme local winter.
"The feedback was that they loved Minnesota, love the weather," said Heather. "It's like a character on the show."
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The Foxes learned that the show had been greenlit last August but had to keep it "hush hush" until it was announced by the network. The couple started filming the eight new episodes in November. "They wanted to wait and film during the winter season," said Heather. Filming will continue through May, focused on eight homeowners and their projects in St. Louis Park, Minneapolis, and Plymouth.
"We have some really awesome families," said Heather. "There's a lot of story and a lot of heart." All the projects are for growing families that need more room, including a single woman with three foster children who is adding space so she can host more kids.
The Foxes' own two young sons, who appeared in the pilot, will continue to make appearances. "The kids are having so much fun," said Heather. Graham, 7, helped her re-cover a chair for one episode. "He's a huge HGTV fan. Wesley, who's 5, is kind of indifferent but he likes the attention."
In addition to showcasing the Foxes' work, they see it as "a platform for local artists and artisans, to get to do their thing on a national stage," Heather said. "People think this is a flyover state but our metro is super-artistic and has a lot to offer. We want to show it."
Filming in winter means the Foxes have to keep a wardrobe of coats, hats, scarves and winter gear in their cars at all times. "They might film a short pickup scene from the day before, and we have to be wearing the same thing. I ask Brad, 'Do you have the green hat?' There's just so much stuff."
While shooting the pilot was "pretty manageable," said Heather, shooting eight more episodes has been time-consuming. "Now with eight, we're essentially doing it as a full-time job, 30 to 40 hours a week, while still running our companies, parenting and trying to do life."
It's far from a financial windfall, she said. They're paid by the episode, and with so much of their time spent filming, there's less time for more lucrative projects. "We took a pay cut," she said. "It's a lot of work for a lot less pay. We look at it as an opportunity for our business that will be worth it in the long run. We're really excited about the possibility of it continuing."
While the eight projects for the first season are underway, the Foxes are already on the lookout for next season's clients. "We've decided it would be a huge help, if there is a Season 2, to start with a backlog of people we can have set to go," she said.
The Foxes haven't been told an air date for the first episode, but expect it to begin in August on Monday nights, Heather said.