“None of us were prepared for this to become what it did,” Gorder says of the show’s success and their overnight fame. “There was no one to guide us. Martha Stewart was doing something different; Bob Villa didn’t do this. We were just kind of floating in the abyss, hoping we were all grounded enough to deal with it well. We all shockingly did.”
When Trading Spaces premiered on Sept. 29, 2000, it aired at 4 p.m. on Fridays and encored on Sundays at noon. But it took three years and a new 8 p.m. time slot before it struck gold, eventually raking in more than 9 million viewers with a 100 Grand Special in 2003.
WATCH THIS: Paige Davis Opens up About those Epic Trading Spaces Fails: “You just talked them through it and then go, ‘Bye, Felicia.’ ”
Now, TLC’s groundbreaking home-design show—in which two sets of neighbors, each paired with a designer, a carpenter and given a $1,000 budget, transform one room in the opposite couple’s home—is returning to television after a ten year hiatus on April 7.
“I knew when we were doing it, and this is not true for everyone, but I knew that it was lightening in a bottle,” says Gorder.
She says in the ten years that the show was off the air, fans never forgot her face.
“Everyday of my life I get stopped because of this show,” she says. I’m “working with the Obamas and they want to talk about Trading Spaces. It’s a beautiful thing.”
She adds, “And the fact that we raised a generation of kids who became designers because they knew what it was, that’s the most delicious piece.”