Is HGTV's 'Celebrity IOU' Real?

Kori Williams - Author
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May 10 2022, Published 6:47 p.m. ET

Home renovation network HGTV combines our love of home makeovers with our love of celebrities in its show Celebrity IOU, which is all about the rich and famous giving back. Its hosts Jonathan and Drew Scott, aka The Property Brothers, team up with a "Hollywood A-lister" who gets to gift a home remodel to someone they care about.

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Even though Celebrity IOU is heartwarming and gives us faith in humanity, some people are wondering if the show is real. So far, the series has gotten stars like Snoop Dogg, Ali Wong, and Tiffany Haddish to sign on.

So, are any parts of the production played up just for the cameras? Here's what we know.

Is 'Celebrity IOU' real?

According to an interview Jonathan did with Entertainment Weekly, the show is real and all the celebrities are actually really psyched to be involved. For example, he explained that he brought up the idea of Celebrity IOU to Viola Davis (who was featured in Season 1) at the 2015 Emmy Awards, and said that she knew immediately to whom she wanted to gift a home renovation.

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"We had the same reaction from all the celebrities participating in the show, so here we are," Jonathan said. "These are celebrities with really big hearts, and you'll be able to see how much they care about these people and why they wanted to give back to them."

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In another episode from Season 1, Brad Pitt wanted to give his longtime makeup artist, Jean Black, a remodel as a gift. Jonathan revealed to Entertainment Weekly that Brad is "obsessed with architecture and real estate, and he really understands design." And since Brad already had an understanding of Jean's home, he gave Jonathan and Drew a lot of ideas.

'Celebrity IOU' will tug at your heartstrings.

Celebrities gifting people home renovations seems like an idea anyone would love, but what makes it even better is how committed these A-listers are to the remodels. Melissa McCarthy, for example, went so far as to fly back and forth from her other commitments for the HGTV series, according to Jonathan. Rebel Wilson also flew in from Australia for her episode.

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But even more heartwarming are the relationships between the stars and the people they choose to surprise with the remodel. In Michael Bublé's episode of Celebrity IOU, he chose to give back to his grandfather's caretaker. He explained that it was his grandfather, who he calls his best friend, who initially sparked his love of music.

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In his episode, Michael said that instead of sending his grandfather to a nursing home, he hired a woman named Minette to take care of both his grandparents until they passed.

"My grandfather didn't really want anyone here," Michael said. "But Minette was a perfect match and my grandfather went from a little bit resentful to absolutely becoming one of her best friends."

You can watch Celebrity IOU on HGTV on Mondays at 9 p.m. EST, or stream it on Discovery Plus.

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