Once upon a time, Ty Pennington was one of the most famous American TV faces, thanks to his well-received TV show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. The fact that he was super cute and funny also did not hurt at all. However, since the turn of the 2010s, the TV personality has had a significantly reduced presence on TV, to the point one could say he disappeared.
It has led to many questions about his whereabouts, why he left television, and in some extreme cases, if he is even still alive. The truth is not as dramatic.
The Former Extreme Makeover: Home Edition Host Is Very Much Alive
Simply put, Ty Pennington is alive. Having been on TV for more than a decade and in the spotlight with the reality series, many expected to keep seeing him on their TV screen every week. But life is cyclical, and sometimes, stars fade into the background.
Pennington got his career breakthrough in 2000 when he was hired to become a crew member on the TLC show, Trading Spaces. The TV series gave two sets of neighbors the chance to renovate one room in each other’s house with the show providing the budget and experts.
Trading Spaces ran from 2000 to 2008, and Pennington was one of the featured carpenters on the show. He gave such a good account of himself that midway through the show, he was tapped to headline Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and found fame in the process.
A Look at What He Has Been Up to
Even though he no longer has a stable national platform, Ty Pennington continued contributing to various community outreach programs. In 2014, two years after the ABC reality show went off the air, he teamed up with Sears to launch the Building Community Together Initiative. The program was designed to help renovate local landmarks and serve communities.
He also partnered with Abod Shelters Foundation, a charitable organization providing sustainable and quality housing to those in need around the globe. In service of his work with the foundation, he has traveled to countries like Tanzania and helped raise funds for five structures.
He has also been working with Deluxe Corporation, an organization providing marketing services to small businesses. He hosts the company’s online series, Small Business Revolution – Main Street, which provides $500,000 to one lucky small business owner out of six competing candidates.
Ty Pennington Also Spends His Time Doing Home Shows and Has Published a Book
One other way Ty Pennington has been spending his time since he went off the spotlight is writing. In May 2019, he published a book titled Life to the Extreme: How a Chaotic Kid Became America’s Favourite Carpenter. The autobiography was met with fanfare from his fans.
Outside of writing, he has also been traveling around the country hosting fan shows. Ty travels to various American cities to share his knowledge and have talks with fans of his show while providing insight on new home trends and ideas. Fans have been able to keep up with his travels on his Instagram page, where he regularly posts photos and videos.
The Cancellation of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and a Slew of Failed Projects Kept Him Out of the Spotlight
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition revolved around helping less-privileged families to remodel their homes. The renovations covered interior, exterior, and landscaping, all carried out under seven days while the family is away on vacation. On the 7th day, the family returns to witness the amazing transformation that has been carried out.
The show ran for nine seasons (2003 – 2012) and received two Emmy awards for Outstanding Reality TV Program. The show also won praise for its utilization of volunteers. Extreme Makeover was eventually canceled in 2012. Pennington revealed that he would miss the show as much as he would always be proud of being a part of it. However, he did appreciate the fact that the cancellation gave him the chance to rest and pay more attention to his family.
Ty hosted or co-hosted a couple of TV shows in the spirit of finetuning his TV skills. Most of them, however, failed. He joined the ABC talk show, The Revolution, as co-host alongside Harley Pasternak, Dr. Jennifer Ashton, and Tim Gunn in January 2012.
The show, which focused on helping people transform their lives through different physical and mental fixes, suffered low ratings and was canceled after six months. Two years later, in 2014, he tried his hands at a couple of food-themed shows.
Pennington started by collaborating with the celebrity chef, Emeril Lagasse, for On the Menu on TNT. But like The Revolution, the show only lasted for ten episodes before it got pulled.
This was also the case for Food Network’s American Diner Revival. Combining his renovation skills and his cooking insights, he hosted the show alongside Amanda Freitag. It began airing in 2015 but suffered the same fate. It lasted for only two seasons.
He Is Returning to TV Hosting on HGTV with Ty Breaker
Having spent years in the wilderness outside of mainstream television with a few failed shows and a couple of offscreen projects, Ty Pennington is back on HGTV. In September 2020, news broke that the show has been given the green light, guaranteeing his return to leading home transformations across the country.
In Ty Breaker, Ty will star alongside other HGTV hosts like Alison Victoria (Windy City Rehab), Grace Mitchell (One of a Kind), and Sabrina Soto (The High Low Project). The first season of the show will span eight episodes and it will feature Ty and the other stars helping families find their dream homes.
With the stars pulling each family in different directions, they will choose to revamp their existing homes or move to another house entirely and renovate. The show is expected to debut in early 2021.
In the meantime, he has been softening the grounds for his return with guest appearances in the reboot of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. He appeared in four episodes of the show in February 2020. Earlier in 2019, he also returned to Trading Spaces, as an on-set designer in ten episodes.