‘This Old House’ Turns 40 This Year, and Bob Vila Is Coming Back to Celebrate
The original home improvement show is celebrating 40 years on the air, and all three hosts are reuniting. To celebrate the anniversary, you can watch all 40 season premieres for free.
Fifteen years before HGTV was born, a local Boston station brought us This Old House. And while shows like Fixer Upper and Extreme Home Makeover were still over two decades away, the 1979 renovation of a Victorian home in Dorchester, Massachusetts made us fall in love with home improvement television.
This year, This Old House celebrates its 40th anniversary, and PBS will air an anniversary special to celebrate. The show has had three hosts over its four-decade run. Bob Vila was the original host from 1979 to 2003, when Steve Thomas took over until current host Kevin O'Connor's debut in 2003. All three hosts will come together for the celebration, which airs on PBS on August 17.
Even though the market has been flooded with home improvement shows in the last few years, This Old House remains unique. Rather than speeding through a home renovation in an hour, the show spends an entire season on just one or two home renovations. In-depth episodes spend a half-hour on the details of installing a new skylight, or landscaping the yard just right—it’s just as much about education as it is about entertainment.
Over the last forty years, we’ve fallen in love with both the houses and the homeowners. We’ve also gotten to know the team that makes it all happen: Norm, Tom, Richard, Roger, and Scott have taught homeowners how to install flooring, run plumbing and electricity through a home, and expertly landscape the exterior. Norm Abram, the show's master carpenter, and Richard Trethewey, who handles all things plumbing and filtering, have been with the show since the very beginning.
The show is currently well into the 40th season, which has featured an energy-efficient makeover for a century-old cottage and a mid-century modern renovation. And if you tune into This Old House’s website, you can catch a 40-day countdown that features free full-length episodes of every season premiere since 1979.