Behind the Scenes: Before they moved that bus

January 15, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
The show's lead project manager, "T-Bone" says Fresno is, by far, the best location he's ever done a show. From the extensive daily news coverage, to the daily on-site massages, the outpouring of community support, to working with De Young Properties, T-Bone had nothing but praise for the Fresno edition of Extreme Makeover. In fact, he told us a story about how he had to spend the holidays here, preparing for the show, instead of with his wife in Connecticut. So the De Youngs surprised him by flying his wife out first-class and bringing her to the site! Shooting for the show resumed first thing Thursday morning, with the last-minute push to get the furniture and décor inside the house. Much of it, including a fake palm tree, chandelier, mattresses, and framed artwork had been sitting overnight on the home's driveway. The EMHE crew recruited firefighters from the Fresno Fire Department to hose down the street until it was free of dirt and debris from construction. One scene still left to shoot was when the builder hands over the keys to Ty Pennington. (Even though technically, the show's designers had received the keys already) Ty had been shooting at another EMHE location in El Paso until he arrived back in Fresno last night! He's always flying back and forth because the crew shoots two episodes in two different locations every week.

Another crew member also revealed the Riojas family had flown home from their Colorado snow vacation yesterday, but were being quarantined. That's to make sure they didn't miss the big reveal due to any flight delays or unforeseen weather issues. And that they wouldn't actually move into their new home until Friday night. Plenty of surprises await Mary Ann Riojas? including a brand new electric wheelchair, which we saw being unloaded in front of her home. Fashion Furniture donated much of the furniture that's going inside the Riojas home, but the designers had plenty of custom projects? many which were created by local carpenters in a workshop behind one of the neighbor's homes.

Spectators started arriving early, some holding homemade signs. In fact, by noon, there was about triple the number of people in the crowd than any other day.


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