This Old House Host On Premier of Detroit Episodes, Importance of Public Media

Why is PBS important in creating shows like This Old House?

This Old House

For months, Detroit Today was been talking with the guys from the PBS home improvement show This Old House about their recent projects in Detroit.

Now, public TV viewers will finally get a chance to see those projects on the small screen. The series will premiere on Detroit Public TV at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 3.

Kevin O’Connor, host of This Old House, and homeowners Frank and Tamiko Polk join Stephen Henderson on Detroit Today.

O’Connor says when viewers watch these episodes of This Old House, they will see how well some of the old houses in Detroit were built.

“I think you’re going to see maybe an outsider’s view of the city,” says O’Connor. “A little bit of wonderment on our part… about how well they were built.”

He discusses the emotion he found while filming with people who grew up in these neighborhoods, before Detroit’s economy declined, and the excitement — at least “reserved excitement” — that the area might be coming back. He also discusses the importance of public media, which has brought This Old House to PBS viewers for 37 years.

“We’re very proud to be exclusively on PBS, and we’ve been there since 1979,” says O’Connor. “It gives a huge platform to get these stories out to the entire country… These are guys (on the show) who are authentic, the real tradespeople. They’ve never given up their day jobs. And their ability to… give valued advice that isn’t purchased and integrated into the content because a check was written… it doesn’t really exist anywhere else. But we can do it on PBS.”

Frank and Tamiko Polk say it wasn’t easy project, but This Old House helped out in a huge way.

“It was extremely hard to walk into an abandoned home and look at all the work that needs to be done,” says Tamiko Polk. “It’s kind of overwhelming. You look at it like, wow, where and when do we start?”

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation. 

This Old House



  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.