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New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission
153 Halsey Street - 5th Floor
P.O. Box 47023
Newark, New Jersey 07101

Tel: 973-648-6279
Fax: 973-648-7350

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New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission
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New And Improved Jersey

Ever since reality television began dominating the airwaves over a decade ago, the “makeover” show has become a staple of the genre. The message of these programs is simple: your life is a disaster, and our experts can make it better. And while reality series are filmed coast-to- coast, no state has undergone more improvement, “television style,” than New Jersey.

It all began back in 2003 when Bravo’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” became a national obsession. A hugely disproportionate amount of those “straight guys” seemed to hail from the Garden State, perhaps reflecting the popular perception of New Jerseyans as Regular Joes: honest, hard- working, lunch pail guys who need a little refining in order to attract the women of their dreams.

But it didn’t end there. Jo Frost, the legendary “Supernanny,” paid regular visits to Jersey families with seemingly incorrigible children. “Trading Spaces” and “Generation Renovation” encouraged local residents to re- imagine and reinvent their homes, and “Clean House” helped tidy them up. “Wife Swap” straightened out New Jersey marriages, “Kitchen Nightmares” improved Jersey restaurants and “Split Ends” gave the state better hairdressers.

Hundreds of reality series such as these have been filmed throughout New Jersey in recent years, according to Steven Gorelick, Executive Director of the New Jersey Motion Picture and Television Commission, and the trend shows no signs of abating. A bumper crop of such programs have recently been filmed, and more are on the way.

The hallmark of reality television is the clarion call for “getting a new look.” The Style Network has just the right person for the job – “The Glam Fairy.” Alexa Prisco, formerly a cast member of the network’s hit show “Jerseylicious,” is the star of her own spinoff. Prisco has done dramatic makeovers for women in Hoboken, Bound Brook and Jersey City during the program’s first two seasons, adding a little glam and glitz to frumpy wardrobes and worn makeup styles.

Once your look has improved, you are ready to get married, and “Brides of New Jersey” is here to help. The pilot for this TLC show was shot in Paramus, where women looking for the perfect wedding dress are given valuable advice by the staff at Bijou Bridal.

Long married couples often find themselves falling out of love with their homes. If so, “Dear Genevieve” will come to the rescue. Designer Genevieve Gorder offers down-to-earth advice to people who are looking to freshen up their abodes. Viewers are encouraged to log in at and upload their design issues. Rather than writing back with suggestions, Genevieve provides the answers in-person. This HGTV program was shot in Weehawken.

If your kitchen has you in a stew, contact HGTV’s “Cousins on Call.” Real life cousins John Colaneri and Anthony Carrino recently renovated the kitchen of a family of Korean immigrants living in Jersey City, and also gave them a new backyard, koi pond and greenhouse. Terry and Jon Wittmaack did similar work for houses in Ridgewood, Wyckoff, West Milford and Green Brook on their DIY Network show, “Brothers on Call.”

Everyone needs their own personal spaces in order to survive the frantic pace of family life, and DIY has the answer for that as well. Hosts Tony Siragusa and Jason Cameron will build you one of their famous “Man Caves,” where your basement, spare room or garage is transformed into the ultimate guy’s hangout. In fact, they just did it for a lucky fellow in Cedar Grove. Ladies, have no worries, because HGTV now produces “Mom Caves.” Matt Muenster and Beth Stern recently visited homes in Maplewood and Caldwell, and in each one they created a special place for the woman of the house to relax alone or with friends, and do what she likes.

Those who just want to skip all the improvements and renovations and move to a new neighborhood can turn to the folks at “Hidden Potential.” They will help you find an inexpensive “fixer upper” that can be transformed into a dream home. This HGTV show recently featured a home in Princeton.

Business people, reality television can help you as well. Anthony Melchiorri, known as the “hotel fixer,” brought his Travel Channel show “Hotel Impossible” to Cape May, where he offered advice on hotel management to an inn on Beach Avenue. Food Network brought the “Restaurant Stakeout” team to Metuchen, to deal with a pizzeria/restaurant beset by employee problems. They also corrected the “hands-off” management style at a bar in Hoboken, and various difficulties at an Italian restaurant in Montclair and a Mexican dining establishment in Bloomfield.

Hair stylists get some tough love on “Tabatha’s Salon Takeover.” Australian hair expert Tabatha Coffey has taken her Bravo program to salons in Cherry Hill, Swedesboro, Mantua Township and Manalapan, where she has whipped the staffs into shape.

While these various makeover shows are improving the lives of New Jersey residents in many different ways, they also contribute substantially to the New Jersey economy.

“Television production creates revenue for the state, and many job opportunities for our residents,” Gorelick emphasizes. “Collectively, these shows generate millions of dollars of business for New Jersey every year.”

That’s a reality we can all live with.

CONTACT: NJ Motion Picture & TV Commission