Reality

How much of Zombie House Flipping is staged?

Zombie House Flipping may employ some clever television tricks to keep things interesting, but it is difficult to tell where the television magic starts and ends.

A&E’s hit home renovation show, Zombie House Flipping, has now been on the air for over eight years. But, while the show has now attracted a hoard of Zombie House Flipping fans worldwide, it has also attracted some criticism.

What the viewers have to say about Zombie House Flipping

Some of the feedback that “fans” have provided about the show online range from “they stage all kind of disasters and accidents, completely unbelievable and totally unnecessary, a huge shame” (this is an excerpt from a 2022 IMDb review for the series), to “this is another example of ‘reality TV’ that isn’t what it purports to be.

It is at least loosely scripted and rehearsed–even the home buyers who file through the open house at the end are obviously speaking scripted lines” (from a comment left on The Movie Database (TMDB) forum back in 2020).

Other commenters have pointed out a few, seemingly overused tropes, saying things like “there’s always a water leak” and “there is the usual cheap investor, one episode has a strategically placed alligator in the pool, they are always yelling at one another about something”

At the end of the day, it is highly unlikely that the bigwigs at A&E or any of the show’s stars will ever admit to employing a bit of creative storytelling, or should we say, “television magic,” in order to spice things up.

But based on what we can gather from the behind-the-scenes details that have been released over the years – it seems as though the so-called over-the-top drama and bickering, as well as some of those less believable “zombie issues” that the Zombie House Flipping teams discover, are the only parts of the show that may be truly staged for the cameras (except for the interviews, of course).

Judge the show for yourself

Really, the best way to figure out which parts of Zombie House Flipping are staged is to watch a few episodes of the show yourself. And, fortunately, Zombie House Flipping has just started airing a new season on A&E.

If you want to catch these new episodes as they air, tune in to A&E weekly, as follows:

Detail Description
Next episode Season six, episode 11, titled “Tampa: Brookway” (this episode will premiere on March 2, 2024)
Timeslot Saturdays, at 11 a.m. ET or 10 a.m. CT
Availability Episodes air live on A&E and will be available to stream the next day

The realities of a “zombie” flip

Since the marketing for Zombie House Flipping often relies so heavily on the dramatization of the foreclosed homes which become the “before” examples on the show, viewers often tune into the show expecting to see homes that are downright disgusting or falling apart.

In reality, however, most of the homes purchased by the zombie house flippers are mostly dirty and just in need of some good old TLC. Mapei Corporation, a construction company that assisted with one of the Zombie House Flipping homes in 2022, even confirmed that the “hellish” home that they were called in to fix only really had mismatched, cracked and uneven flooring throughout.

Chauncey Pham explains on-the-fly interviews

While the people behind Zombie House Flipping will never admit that the show is likely at least partially-staged, we do know that the show puts a little extra effort and time into its on-the-fly interviews with the flippers.

In fact, Chauncey Pham, who is part of the Zombie House Flipping Dallas team, recently explained that the show often films its on-the-fly interviews days after the actual incident.

And what is more is that this TikTok video explanation actually reveals a little glimpse of what appears to be some kind of script (or production notes).

The Zombie House Flipping stars insist that the show is real

In the end, it will really be up to you to decide how much of the Zombie House Flipping story you believe is scripted.

But one thing that the show does have going for it is that despite all criticism, many of the Zombie House Flipping stars have defended the show’s reputation publicly.

Keith Ori (who is part of the Orlando team) has insisted that the show is not scripted at all, and even claimed that they are “not given any money from production to flip houses” in a 2017 interview with Penn Live.

And, though Chauncey has admitted that not everything on the Zombie House Flipping set always works the way that viewers expect it to, she reiterated that the homes featured on the show are “100%” their own.

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