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The iconic "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" returns to ABC with a special two-hour Thanksgiving-themed episode, with actress, author, activist and entrepreneur Jenny McCarthy guest starring as team leader. The Watson Family episode will premiere MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26 (9:01-10:00 & 10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network, immediately following the "Dancing with the Stars: All-Stars" Performance Finale. The remaining three special episodes will air on the following three Mondays, December 3, December 10 and December 17.
Daniel and Mandy Watson are not only the proud adoptive parents of three adorable, fun-loving kids with boundless energy, they're also inspiring examples of how people can make a difference in the lives of so many others. Having both been raised by single mothers, the Watsons work tirelessly to transform the lives of low-income, single mother families through housing and by providing the tools to succeed in life… all while their own home falls apart around them. Four years ago, they left their jobs and created the Restoration House, a non-profit organization that provides single mothers with housing at a local apartment complex, as well as the tools needed (mentoring, advocacy) to be confident, self-sufficient and productive members of their community. This passionate young couple fight hard for their dream of 'restoring' the lives of single mothers and their children in Knoxville, Tennessee, where over 5,000 single-mother families live below the poverty line. Their mantra, "It Takes a Village," has helped many single mothers and their children transition to successful lives, both financially and personally. But their own home is in such bad shape that it threatens to take them away from their non-profit and imperils their dreams of expanding the program to help even more single moms.
The Watsons decided to forgo having biological children and adopted Atley (6) and Ava (5) as newborns from single mothers in the Knoxville area, as well as baby Silas (1) from Ethiopia. Both Ava and Silas were at-risk adoptions, as Ava tested cocaine positive when she was born, and Silas was found abandoned in the bushes at two days old, suffering from neonatal tetanus and on the verge of death. Now all three children are healthy and playful, brimming with joy and mischief. Daniel works tirelessly at the Restoration House as Executive Director, but also works a second job at night as a web developer to pay the bills. Even though Mandy is now staying at home to take care of Silas, she spends countless hours helping the mothers in the program.
The "EM:HE" design team has just seven days to build a new Restoration House that's larger, with additional living quarters where they can house two single mother families at a time while those families go through the Restoration House program. The episode features a visit to the "Wipeout" set and an appearance by UFC Champion fighter Jon "Bones" Jones. The Watson family has been whisked away on a dream vacation to Sarasota, Florida while special guest team leader Jenny McCarthy and the "EM: HE" team of designers -- Paul DiMeo, Tracy Hutson, John Littlefield and Jillian Harris -- along with Grace Construction and community volunteers, build the structure.
"Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," which aired for nine seasons on ABC, transformed the lives of thousands of deserving families and galvanized communities and businesses to help their neighbors in need. "EM:HE" also put a spotlight on causes that touched these families, ranging from the treatment of serious illnesses or accident victims to the importance of foster care & adoption, to helping veterans struggling with post-traumatic stress and the plight of the homeless, to campaigning against texting while driving and building coalitions to end bullying. Celebrities including First Lady Michelle Obama, Elton John, Robin Williams, Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, Glenn Close, Tyler Perry, Mary J Blige, Carrie Underwood, David Duchovny, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson, Usher, KISS, Rihanna, Jessica Alba and Derek Jeter are among the many who "got on the bus" over the years to join the show. In addition, the series won multiple Emmys for Outstanding Reality Program, received six Emmy nominations, won two People's Choice Awards and an NAACP Image Award, in addition to many other honors.
"EM:HE" is produced by Endemol USA. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America. The series is executive-produced by Brady Connell & George Verschoor. This program airs in HD with 5.1 audio, and carries a TV-PG parental guideline.