Kayla Kitts

Contributor to HGTVersus

Sep 14

Ask the Producer: Design Star Finale and Meg’s New Show!

Design Star Crew

Each week, Design Star producer Loren Ruch gives us the inside scoop on the show.  After this week’s finale, he discusses the panel’s final deliberation. Plus, what you can expect from Meg’s new show HGTV’s Great Rooms.

It must have been hard for the design panel to choose between these two talented designers! What made them ultimately choose Meg as the winner?
It was an extremely tough decision because our design panel liked both Meg and Karl so much.  In fact, the deliberation took nearly four hours!  They reviewed all of the camera challenges and design challenges, and ultimately selected Meg as the winner.  Meg and Karl had each won two challenges throughout the season, and then split the win in the tiny houses episode, so it was a very, very even competition all the way around.

What was it like for Meg to meet so many of the HGTV talent right after the win?
Meeting our HGTV talent was a huge moment for Meg. When she said “Oh my God, you’re all real,” it was a true ‘light bulb’ moment.  She told me it was in that moment she realized winning Design Star was a life-changing event!

The original concept for the Meg’s series was Design Crimes. How did that idea evolve into HGTV’s Great Rooms?
If I’m going to be completely honest, HGTV’s Great Rooms is the same show as Design Crimes.  Meg uses her criminology background to investigate the crimes in her fellow Chicagoans homes, and then redesign the spaces to be more beautiful.  This may sound crazy, but I believe that there’s power in words, so instead of focusing on something negative (like the word “crimes”) I’d rather we focus on the positive (like “great”), which is why we changed it to HGTV’s Great Rooms.  “Great” is a double entendre in the show, because not all of the rooms are true great rooms, but they are all GREAT!

When did Meg’s show begin filming?
Meg’s show started to shoot about three weeks after we completed production of Design Star.  She needed to get working on her designs immediately following our finale.  Honestly, she hasn’t slept much since we started shooting Design Star back in March!

Can you give us any clues about what we can expect from Meg’s new show? What did you think were the best on-set moments?
I can say this with 100 percent sincerity – I think that Meg’s makeovers in HGTV’s Great Rooms are some of the biggest and best makeovers that I’ve ever seen on our air.  I truly believe that our viewers will be blown away by the level of talent she displays in this show.  By the way, HGTV’s Great Rooms debuts Saturday at 6pm ET/PT – so set your DVR’s!!  Learn more about Meg’s new show >>

Note:  The picture is one of our entire crew – look at how many people it takes to get a show like this on the air!  I want to take this opportunity to thank the best crew in the business, and the best viewers in the world…we love our HGTV fans!

Posted at 12:04 pm

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  1. Any chance that Karl will have a show? I'd love to see more of his design work.

    Sherry on September 14, 2011 at 8:11 am
    • I would also like to see more of Karls designs. I was very disappointed that he didn't win, I thought his final camera presentatiion was flawless and his designs were consistently well thought out and well executed. He is entertaining and informative on camera and his designs are beautiful and functional.

      Katrina on September 14, 2011 at 1:15 pm
  2. I would rather watch Karl in his own show! He is more creative than Meg and much more likeable on the camera. I like how he interacted with the clients. I wanted him to win Design Star! Meg's crime design show idea isn't very inventive. Over time, maybe she will improve but I won't be watching her show.

    Rebecca on September 14, 2011 at 8:24 am
  3. I love Karl's designs! And, the way he designed the "tiny house" and incorporated more than one function on some of the items he used!!!! He is a design star in my book. But, Meg and Mark are too! :0)

    Lynn on September 14, 2011 at 8:25 am
  4. HGTV needs to "challenge" itself to bring someone like Karl to the channel! You're people blogging want substance and appreciated his thoughtfulness and attention to detail. Your viewers are not a dumb crowd…and yet you treat us like we are children who couldnt possibly understand intelligent design and architecture. The idea of little bits of history, where modern day influences come from could have colored Karl's show. Judging from the reception challenge not one person understood what Victorian influence or design is. Karl was the only one who chose a great modern version of a Victorian palour couch or sete. You've yet dumbed it down one more time. Karl could have transformed our ideas about where we live and how we do it. Not inspired by Meg one bit.

    Rosebud2005 on September 14, 2011 at 8:40 am
    • I agree completely.

      katrina on September 14, 2011 at 1:17 pm
  5. Wow. Thanks for confirming that the judges need to be replaced for their lack of
    giving a fair assessment on what the designers' produced.
    Really? You all thought Meg's tiny house was equal to Karl's?
    All he had was maybe a bit too much red for someone's taste.
    And Meg's space was not even livable or functional!
    They weren't equal – not in any sense of the word.
    You and the judges can tell me until you are blue in the face.
    But my eyes do not deceive me.

    And nice of you to give Meg a head start with hiring back stage designers
    to cover up the fact that she lacks in that key area. Go ahead and deny it but we all saw
    what her skill and talent level was on DS. If the new show is that spectacular it's not because she designed it. And yes, everyone of your show hosts get help, I get that. But you cannot teach someone the
    kind of talent Karl had and no amount of 'help' will give her that. So please spare me any
    details of help she will be getting. Why don't you just call Design Intern instead of Design Star.
    Since you are all so willing to take a mediocre talent and give so much help in producing their own show.

    I won't be watching her show. I am not supporting someone who was obviously pre-selected
    and got a free pass to win while someone who had more talent got discarded along the way,
    even when he exceeded some and met all the challenges.

    In fact, I haven't watched HGTV at all since the last episode.

    Truly disappointed in your question selections, responses and DS this season.

    Gene on September 14, 2011 at 8:48 am
    • don't count on getting ANY response from the network. They ignore anything unless it is glowingly flattering of their agenda!

      todd on September 14, 2011 at 10:09 am
      • You think?…Maybe the guys burnt out and depressed…I know I would be if I was in charge of this show and had to read so much negativity…I still think the show was better than last year, but with that said I also still believe the winner is chosen from the very beginning, and that this competition is just a fun illusion.

        Mark G on September 14, 2011 at 1:10 pm
    • I completely agree with you. Karl should have won. Design Intern — that's a good one. Wasn't that a show? Perfectly suited for Meg. She should be Apprenticing, not hosting her own show. What a wasted opportunity! You let 2 imaginative and inspiring design talents (Karl and Mark) slip through your hands. Perhaps another network will see the error of your ways. And the "Great Rooms" show title is confusing and stupid. If the name of the show has to be explained, it's not a good title. Not that "Design Crimes" was a winner either, but at least you got what the show was about. Unfortunately, the concept is negative and makes the homeowners "criminals". Funny how the host of the dismissed concept, won. Oh but wait, you're including it with the "Great Rooms" show. Huh??? "Inspired designs" was truly a better concept with a very talented host. This show would have trained our eye to see inspiration in our surroundings and show us how to incorporate these ideas when designing our rooms. Finding this source of inspiration is crucial to successful design and it's where most of us get stuck. If you don't know where to start with a design project, most likely the project will never get started or completed. Perhaps a shake-up in HGTV mgmt. and judging panel is warranted if you can't tell talent when you see it. Karl and Mark, pitch to OWN Network! Oprah knows talent when SHE sees it!!!!

      Barb on September 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm
  6. More than anything, I believe the die hard HGTV fans (the ones who take the time to blog) have lost faith in the current Design Panel's ability to choose a Design Star. Besides, as anyone on the Panel will tell you, things need to be changed up every so often so as to not become stale. You've changed the two females on the Design Panel once and tossed Clive out, and it is now time to update the Design Panel. If you read enough of the posts, you will see that the bloggers believe Genevieve is a detractor from Design Star. In previous blog posts I have suggested Sabrina Soto, John Giddings, and Monica Pedersen for the Design Panel and Taniya Nayak as the host. Others have suggested Sarah Richardson for the Design Panel, but because she will not go anywhere without her sidekick, Tommy, he could be the host or mentor. It is just time for a change. You'll have to if you want to revive interest in the show because most of your loyal fans are disgusted. Antonio, then Emily, and now Meg! Too much.

    Sandra on September 14, 2011 at 8:59 am
  7. It would be better if the majority of judges are not current HGTV hosts for obvious reasons. Think Vern has become a good judge and would opt to keep him. Retire Genevieve. And have Candice continue to blog since she is too busy with her own show to be there full time. Select 2 new judges who don't host for the network already so there's no conflict of interest.

    Brennan on September 14, 2011 at 9:08 am
  8. I don't know how the judges could spend 4 hours reviewing all the challenges and not see how superior Karl's design skills are compared to Meg's. I just don't get it. I will give Meg's show a chance but it will probably be like Emily's, not very entertaining and mediocre designing. Emily now has an announcer, Meg will need one too.

    I agree that Design Star needs new judges. The ones you have seem to pick a favorite at the beginning and push them through. Meg should have been eliminated before she ever got to the final four.

    Everyone reading, don't forget to vote for Karl for fan favorite.

    CorvetteLady on September 14, 2011 at 9:53 am
  9. I realize that this blog is to ‘ask’ the producers. Why ask? Obviously the producers are not listening to the viewers! In this world we have enough disappointment in the ‘real’ life. We refuse to perpetuate it in other aspects of our life such as ‘Entertainments’. For most Americans when something in our lives disappoints us we just remove or ignore it. I say you are shooting yourselves in the foot!

    marilyn on September 14, 2011 at 10:04 am
  10. I missed the final show but in previous ones Meg's designs seemed outdated and, well, cluttered. We are in the XXI century. MInimalistic and contemporary are words to describe the style of our times. "Less is more" and "Form and Function" are rules now for artful design. In addition to pleasing the modern eye these essential allow ease of care without needless accessories and decoration.

    Luisa on September 14, 2011 at 10:10 am

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