TV's New Year Starts At Ed Begley's Cold House

Networks don't debut TV shows on the very first day of the year. There are reasons: too much booze and celebration, and too much bad TV to forget about from the year before.

We all need a change; thus there is plenty of football and parades--all provided with the hope that shows like "Kidnapped," "The Nine," and "Smith" will recede into the fleeting memory parts of our brain.

Home and Garden TV is one network that bucks the no-debut trend, launching big shows and events on Jan. 1 that lean naturally toward domestication. In addition to its usual big house giveaway--on "HGTV Dream Home 2007," a home in Winter Park, Colo.--HGTV is starting up a new series, "Living with Ed." This is a reality show about actor Ed Begley, Jr. and his actress wife Rachelle Carson showing off--what else--Begley's wacky life as a noted celebrity environmentalist.

What can we expect to see? Begley timing Carson's shower with a stopwatch; Begley riding 15 minutes on his stationary bike to create the power to make toast.



Electric TV, for sure. (Bring Lance Armstrong out of retirement and that multi-grain toast will be burnt in 30 seconds; he'll also warm up the water heater quicker than you can say L'Alpe d'Huez.)

HGTV hopes to stir up some wacky entertainment by the compost heap. Begley's a funny guy; no doubt he's up to the task, making himself the object of some ridicule while sending out a few conservation messages.

"Ed is so green," Andy Singer, vice president of original programming at HGTV, told the Los Angeles Times. So too is Kermit. But all this can get stale.

While the laughs seem to be obvious, HGTV wants to make sure those home and environmental messages are sent out to viewers. Is this enough? MTV, in its own way, showed us conservation when Ozzy Osbourne took out the trash. Look how far that went.

No matter. At half-time, join in with HGTV for a minute. Sit in your freezing house with a 62-degree thermostat and generate your own heat on a bike.

You'll get rid of those unwanted pounds--and those network game show memories of "The Rich List" and "Show Me The Money." Start the New Year fresh for more quality TV reminiscences.

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