“Only someone from Cincinnati would understand that name,” says Drew with a laugh from his Los Angeles home.The brothers are pitching four reality series to TV networks, says Drew, who debuts Sunday as host of a four-week reality competition series, “HGTV’s $250,000 Challenge” (10 p.m., HGTV).
They had been talking about starting a company before the pilot was shot last year for “Taking the Stage,” the MTV reality series created by Nick about Cincinnati’s School for Creative & Performing Arts students. Nick, 35, graduated from SCPA in 1992; Drew, 32, graduated in 1994. They became famous first in 98°, their pop vocal band started in 1995.
Pitching and producing shows “is how you control your career. You don’t have to rely on others to bring you opportunities,” Drew says.
Since the last 98° CD released in 2002, Both men have had reality TV successes. Drew won ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars” in 2006, and hosted ABC’s “Dance War: Bruno vs. Carrie Ann” and the “Miss USA” pageant.
Nick starred with then-wife Jessica Simpson on MTV’s “Newlyweds,” directed Cincinnati’s winning “Clash of the Choirs” ensemble on NBC, and created and produced “Taking the Stage” with MTV. (MTV executives have not decided whether to produce a second “Taking the Stage” season, although the network continued to film at SCPA in April and May. The eight-week first season ended May 7.)
HGTV programmers asked Drew to host the “$250,000 “Challenge” after he taped an “HGTV Showdown” program (to air later this year), and they realized how handy he was around his California house.
“This show is a perfect place for me to go in the next step of my career. This (home improvement work) is something I’m always doing every day in my house,” Drew says.
While shooting the HGTV series, he watched staff assemble the production closely.
in suburban Los Angeles this spring, Drew spent a lot of time watching staffers assemble the production.
“We (Nick and I) had talked about how we need to get more involved behind the scenes,” Drew says. “This was a great experience for me, on a personal and professional level.”