Liz Gray

Contributor to HGTVersus

Jul 18

Ask the Flipping the Block Producer: Get to Know the Show

You know him from Brother Vs. Brother and Design Star — now go behind the scenes of the all-new competition series Flipping the Block with producer Loren Ruch. Each week, he’ll share his favorite behind-the-scenes moments and what you didn’t see on TV. Plus, he’ll answer your questions about the show! Just in time for Sunday’s premiere, here’s his take on the exciting new show.

Flipping the Block 2014 - Go Behind the Scenes on Set

Behind-the-Scenes Host David Bromstad Interviews Loren on Set

What’s the story behind this new HGTV show? What’s this show’s relationship to the Australian hit, “The Block”?
The premise of the show Flipping the Block is that four teams of talented competitors get the opportunity to flip four identical condos…all while living in them! These places were absolute DUMPS, so that made the challenge even more difficult. Basically, they turned a rundown complex into a modern day Melrose Place. This is the US-version of the highly popular Australian show called The Block.

How did you narrow down the pool of applicants to the final group of 8? What qualities were you looking for in pairings?
We had almost 1000 people (500 teams) apply to be on the show. We wanted a variety of applicants from different regions, backgrounds, skill sets, and relationships. We have a team with twin brothers, a team with sisters, a newly dating couple, and newlyweds — so there’s a little bit of everything. As for skill sets, we made sure that all of the teams had some level of tool skills, real estate knowledge, or design capabilities so that there would not be an obvious winner, and it could be anyone’s game.

How much did the contestants know before going into this experience? When did they learn about the true premise of the show?
They didn’t know ANYTHING about living in the properties. All they knew was that they were going to appear on an all-new HGTV renovation show! That made the first moment when they saw the Block that much more shocking and exciting!

How did HGTV find the properties being renovated for this project? What were you looking for in the property itself?
We had a real estate expert scour the LA market looking for the perfect property. When she found this four-plex in Glendale we knew it was our perfect pick because all four units were identical, and the places were run down enough that there was room for real transformation.

How did you choose Scott McGillivray and Nicole Curtis as the show’s judges?
This was a no-brainer to me. Scott is the absolute king of everything ‘real estate’ and Nicole is one of our biggest stars with an incredible knowledge of historical preservation -and– house flipping. Combined, they were the perfect choices to real advise and ultimately judge each week’s challenge.

Have a question for Loren? Ask in the comments below.

Posted at 3:49 pm

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  1. Would u consider a old house? I have no money to repair it. I just went on medacaid and my husband has been on medacare since for 24 years. He has ankylosis sspinal disease. I have 8 surgeries in the past 8 years so they wouldn't hold onto my job. We r now in danger of losing our house. Thr roof leaks the ceilings r falling down. Plus we have squirrels in the attic! It's a turn of the century victorian house with sliding doors inside separating the rooms! The wood work is beautiful!

    Chris solook on July 19, 2014 at 3:31 pm
  2. I love my house, but it does need work in the yard. We had a tree removed last year and we have all these ruts to contend with because of the trucks in the yard. I am disabled and my husband is also, we want to do all the work, but I think we are just too overwhelmed. If you are ever in the neighbor hood I would greatly appreciate it if you would flip my yard. We have spent all of our money on plumbing, new water pipes, electrical we are trying to work on the inside.
    We have let the cosmetics go because we had to get new wiring, now our air conditioner is on the blitz. My home town is Cahokia, Il. 62206 I would very much appreciate some help.
    God bless, and keep you safe.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

    Joyce Clubbs on July 19, 2014 at 7:14 pm
  3. It's hard to imagine the day-to-day drama of living in a house while it's undergoing major renovations, much less a real DUMP which is not even your own home.

    Did any of the couples chosen for the show have serious second thoughts about staying in the program when they learned they'd have to LIVE in a total mess during renovations?

    I think I might have said, "Thanks, but no way!"

    DBCoop on July 19, 2014 at 8:27 pm
    • Hi DBCoop!
      When Whitney and I first saw these places, we actually thought is was a joke! We were like "OK, you guys got the reaction out of us on camera, now can we go back to the hotel?"
      It was nasty and tough at times, but everyone was just so driven to accomplish the impossible!
      …Life on the Block, man!

      johnnyrayspinks on July 23, 2014 at 8:07 am
  4. Hi I’m a 32 year old male who’s considers myself pretty handy. How can me and my fiancé appear on this show.

    Jermaine on July 19, 2014 at 9:27 pm
  5. My mom is a 75 year old amazing woman. Everyone that knows her is brought to shame when they see what she accomplishes compared to any one from 20-70 years of age. She works circles around us all. She has remodeled and rebuilt every home she has lived in as well as contracting her rebuild after the 2010 flood in Nashvile TN. How do you apply to be say on next season? I would be a proud daughter to be able to expose the world to how amazing she is as a mom and a woman.

    Denise Morrison on July 20, 2014 at 8:21 pm
  6. When are you taking new applications for the next show

    Terry Newsomd on July 20, 2014 at 9:09 pm
  7. My husband and I would b great contenders for this show and very interested in next series. David is a licensed builder in Michigan and I worked as licensed realtor in Mi as well as Florida Realtor and Model hostess for large Developer in Naples Fl. We hav been watching HGTV for years and avid fans as well as we r very competitive. We r ready for the challenge. Bring it on ! Call us for an interview. We r team to b reckoned with. David and Deris Southworth.

    David Southworth on July 20, 2014 at 11:27 pm
  8. We own a 4 unit bldg here in Santa Monica. All identical units. 2 bedroom, 1 bath (950sq ft). Built in the late 70's. Rundown and outdated but no crumbling foundation, leaky roof or serious plumbing issues.

    percussiveman on July 20, 2014 at 11:31 pm
    • Hi percussiveman,

      Please e-mail Carrie at regarding your building in Santa Monica. Thanks so much!

      Carrie on July 21, 2014 at 12:47 pm
  9. How do my husband and I apply for the next season of Flipping the Block? He is a GC and I'm a designer specializing in K & B's. We do a lot of the work our selves and have been a great team for 23 years now.
    I know there will be another…..this one is off to a great start.
    Deborah Fox


    Deborah Fox on July 21, 2014 at 2:14 pm
  10. Well.. I really came to this post to read about the producer.. hmm a little confused on replies!?
    I LOVE THE PREMISE OF THIS SHOW! I think it is brilliant.. real people, not pros, living in the project, teaming up on ideas and expenses..making it happen ~ this IS REALITY (sans the children and dog)
    I would love to be a contestant ~ where may I sign up!

    Monique on July 21, 2014 at 4:18 pm