How Knoxville media company helped Ty Pennington get his start

How Knoxville media company helped Ty Pennington get his start

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The first 40 episodes of Trading Spaces were shot in Knoxville. (source: Rivr Media) The first 40 episodes of Trading Spaces were shot in Knoxville. (source: Rivr Media)

By MONA NAIR
6 News Reporter

KNOXIVLLE (WATE) - Ty Pennington, star of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," can credit Knoxville for some of his fame.

The production house that discovered Pennington is Rivr Media in Knoxville. He was a carpenter from Atlanta who answered a casting call in Knoxville.

"When we met Ty, we knew that was it," said Lori Stryer, Rivr Media executive producer.

Back then, they were starting a new show with a unique concept. "'Trading Spaces' actually launched reality TV," Stryer said. "Two homeowners trade a space and decorate it for $1,000."

They originally had some doubts about it, but the show took off and so did Ty Pennington.

The first 40 episodes of Trading Spaces were shot in Knoxville.

"I would like to say Knoxville created Ty or Rivr Media created Ty," Stryer said. "Rivr Media may have discovered Ty, but he was a gem from day one."

The now well-established host will be back for the Knoxville episode of "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

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