By Joe Flint
8:00 AM CDT, September 10, 2013
Destination America, the cable network that is home to "Deep Fried Masters" and "United States of Bacon," is taking the next natural step with "King of Thrones," a show aimed at people who spend a lot of time in their bathrooms and want to be as comfortable as possible.
"It's a perfect marriage, 'BBQ Pit Masters' and 'King of Thrones,'" cracked Matt Ostrom, the latter show's executive producer. "It all goes together." The program is an "ode to the commode," according to Destination America General Manager Marc Etkind.
Debuting Tuesday, "King of Thrones" follows Waconia, Minn.-based Hoxie Homes and Remodeling ("We're #1 when it comes to #2" is their slogan) as they go about giving people the bathrooms of their dreams.
Those dreams can get pretty weird out there. Besides the obvious — heated toilets, bidets and urinals — there are requests for televisions in showers, fireplaces, sound systems, body dryers and even shower jets for a family dog.
"Super-sizing" is how Ostrom describes the trend for high-end bathrooms. A lot of people, he said, are looking for something "a little over the top."
And they don't feel as if they're flushing money down the toilet.
"They want to hang out there," said Jeff Hoxie, who added that it's not unusual for one of his clients to drop six figures on remodeling the room. Hoxie has even built toilets with speakers on the side that allow the user to plug in an iPod.
Not all bathroom jobs are about looks and high-tech gadgets. In one episode, Hoxie and his partner Dave Koop build a mobile outhouse for an obsessed ice fisherman who wants to be able to cast his line while taking care of business. In another, the duo constructs a porta-potty for an outdoor fair that looks like a covered wagon.
Sometimes, they are also called in to solve a family crisis, as was the case when they were asked to redesign a bathroom to accommodate the arrival of a grandfather whose bathroom frequency was creating an unpleasant environment for everyone else.
In between jobs, it's not uncommon for Hoxie and Koop to wax poetic about commodes.
"Some of my best ideas can come when I'm enjoying my moment of solitude on my throne," Koob said in the show's first episode. Trivia is also part of the show. Koop shares that the Pentagon uses over 600 rolls of toilet paper on an average day.
Clearly there will be little effort to shy away from bathroom humor. "We try to get the word 'poop' in as much as possible," said Ostrom.
Although women certainly spend as much if not more time in the bathroom then men, "King of Thrones," as the title indicates, is aimed primarily at guys.
"Men want killer bathrooms more than women," Ostrom said. "I think it is more of a male fascination."
Executives with a rival network — DIY, which airs the show "Bath Crashers" — accuse the new commode show of treading on their turf.
"The fact is that people do spend quality time in their bathrooms, so it is not surprising that other networks would try to `crash' our party," said Steve Lerner, senior vice president of programming and development for DIY. "We will flush them during the annual DIY Network Toilet Bowl," which is the channel's annual programming stunt during the Super Bowl.
Launched last year by cable programming giant Discovery Communications, Destination America describes itself as the only television network to "celebrate the people, places and stories of the United States." What that means is lots of shows about greasy food that would send most cholesterol levels off the chart. The channel it replaced ironically was Planet Green, a network that had been devoted to "green lifestyle programming
"King of Thrones" has also presented Destination America with unique opportunities for advertisers. Charmin is a sponsor of the show.
'King of Thrones'
Where: Destination America
When: 7 p.m. Tuesday
Rating: Not rated
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