Extreme Makeover

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Extreme Makeover
GenreReality television
Created byHoward Schultz
Directed byPaul Miller, Shanda Sawyer
Presented bySam Saboura
Country of originUnited States
Original language(s)English
No. of seasons4
No. of episodes54 (52 aired, 2 unaired)
Production company(s)Lighthearted Entertainment
Original networkABC
Original releaseDecember 11, 2002 (2002-12-11) –
July 16, 2007 (2007-07-16)
Followed byExtreme Weight Loss
Related showsExtreme Makeover: Home Edition
Extreme Makeover: Wedding Edition
External links

Extreme Makeover is an American reality television series which premiered on ABC on December 11, 2002. Created by television producer Howard Schultz, the show features individuals volunteering to receive an extensive makeover in Hollywood. It first aired as a television special. A total of 55 episodes were produced. The show's first surgeon was Dr. Garth Fisher of Beverly Hills, California; after the pilot show the first six shows included Beverly Hills plastic surgeons Jon A. Perlman, M.D. FACS and Dr. Robin T. W. Yuan, Dr. Malcolm Lesavoy and Dr. Harvey Zarem as part of the original "Extreme Team," along with Dr. Bill Dorfman and Dr. Robert Maloney. Other doctors were selected for the next three years in addition to the above, including dermatologist Dr. Ava Shamban.

Borrowing heavily from the reality television genre, the show depicts ordinary men and women undergoing "extreme makeovers" involving plastic surgery, exercise regimens, hairdressing and wardrobing. Each episode ends with the participants' return to their families and friends, showing the reactions of their loved ones, who have not been allowed to see the incremental changes during the participants' absence.

Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, which debuted in 2003, is a spin-off of Extreme Makeover. The home edition ended up becoming far more successful than the plastic surgery edition. Extreme Makeover: Wedding Edition was also piloted as a one-time special, but did not achieve sufficient ratings to be made into a series.

In its first season, Extreme Makeover ranked 40th in the yearly ratings and averaged 11.2 million viewers per episode. However, viewership suffered huge drops over the next three seasons.

On May 15, 2007, Extreme Makeover was officially cancelled by ABC. The show's final three episodes were broadcast on Mondays starting July 2, 2007.[1] A later spin-off, Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition, premiered in ABC's 2011 summer season. This show excised its connection to the Extreme Makeover franchise in 2013, and was retitled Extreme Weight Loss.


Some have criticized Extreme Makeover of reinforcing unachievable body image goals among both women and men. It is believed by critics that the show implies that idealized beauty can only be found through the aid of cosmetic surgeons, placing ‘beauty’ as a relatively unachievable goal for most people. [2] As most do not have the funds to afford cosmetic surgery, their only other means of coming close to attaining ‘beauty’ is through extreme dieting and exercise, which then has the potential of creating eating disorders, as well as exercise disorders. Furthermore, critics believe that the show exemplifies and emphasizes the importance society places on physical appearance, as opposed to thoughts or beliefs. According to critical analysis, the show places far too much importance on how a person presents himself or herself to society, as opposed to what they contribute to it.[2] Alternately, others,[who?] although remaining critical of the show's overall message, acknowledge that there can be some empowerment that comes from achieving a certain set of ‘beauty’ goals.[2] Comparisons have been drawn to how some women claim a sense of empowerment from finding themselves the object of male desire, either in general social settings, or through their given profession–for example, in the pornography industry.[2]

The issue can more or less be condensed down into examining why and how this certain set of desirable physical attributes has become the pinnacle of physical appeal.[2] With the case of Extreme Makeover, it is understood that the shows producers are not establishing these standards of desired beauty, but instead profiting from them, as well as perpetuating them. It is the further perpetuation of these difficult to achieve, and debatably unhealthy beauty standards that have given rise to the critical assessment of Extreme Makeover, as well as other shows like it.

Deleese McGee lawsuit[edit]

Extreme Makeover faced controversy after contestant Deleese McGee's makeover was cancelled. McGee applied as a contestant on the show and both her and her family were interviewed for an episode in January 2004. When asked questions about Deleese, her family initially responded only with positive comments, though producers repeatedly encouraged them to say negative things about her appearance; the intention was to compare the negative comments to their reaction after Deleese's surgery was complete. Deleese was in the next room listening; her shock at hearing the comments was filmed as part of the intended episode. The night before the surgery, however, Deleese was informed the procedures had been cancelled on the grounds that her estimated recovery time did not fit with the filming schedule. After the surgery was cancelled Deleese's sister Kellie suffered from guilt for making the negative comments; she died by an intentional drug overdose in May 2004. Deleese sued for emotional damages; the case was settled out of court.[3][4] The controversy is credited as a contributing factor in the show's cancellation.[5]

The Extreme Team[edit]

  • Sam Saboura, Host, Stylist. (Recurring)
  • Dr. Garth Fisher MD FACS, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Beverly Hills California, Medical Director of the Biomedical Skin Treatment Institute
  • Dr. Robin T. W. Yuan, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Beverly Hills, California

Nielsen ratings[edit]

Seasonal ratings based on average total viewers per episode of Extreme Makeover on ABC:

Season Episodes Timeslot (EDT) Season Premiere Season Finale TV Season Rank Viewers
(in millions)
1 6 Wednesday 8:00 December 11, 2002 May 21, 2003 2002-2003 #41[7] 10.80[7]
2 23 Thursday 9:00
Wednesday 10:00
September 18, 2003 July 21, 2004 2003-2004 #133 [8]
3 20 Thursday 8:00
Thursday 9:00
September 23, 2004 July 14, 2005 2004-2005 #109[10]
4 6 (2 unaired) Friday 8:00
Monday 9:00
October 20, 2006 July 16, 2007 2006-2007 #175[13] 4.85[14]

List of Episodes[edit]

Extreme Makeover debuted on December 11, 2002 and ended on July 16, 2007. The series ran for a total of four seasons.

Season Episodes Originally aired
First aired Last aired
Season 1 6 December 11, 2002 (2002-12-11) May 21, 2003 (2003-05-21)
Season 2 23 September 18, 2003 (2003-09-18) July 21, 2004 (2004-07-21)
Season 3 19 September 23, 2004 (2004-09-23) July 14, 2005 (2005-07-14)
Season 4 4 October 20, 2006 (2006-10-20) July 16, 2007 (2007-07-16)

Season 1 (2002-2003)[edit]

No. Title Original air date
1"Stephanie & Luke"December 11, 2002 (2002-12-11)
In the 2002 pilot episode, Stephanie and Luke are subjects of Extreme Makeover.
2"Kine & Tammy"April 23, 2003 (2003-04-23)
Kine and Tammy are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
3"David & Melissa"April 30, 2003 (2003-04-30)
David and Melissa are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
4"Amy & John"May 7, 2003 (2003-05-07)
Amy and John are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
5"Karen & Sandra"May 14, 2003 (2003-05-14)
Karen and Sandra are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
6"Evelyn & Sharon"May 21, 2003 (2003-05-21)
Evelyn and Sharon are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.

Season 2 (2003-2004)[edit]

No. Title Original air date
7"Caroline & Catherine & Dan"September 18, 2003 (2003-09-18)
Caroline, Catherine, and Dan are subjects of Extreme Makeover.
8"Jennifer & Peggy"September 25, 2003 (2003-09-25)
Jennifer and Peggy are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
9"Lori & Peter"October 3, 2003 (2003-10-03)
Lori and Peter are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
10"Dana & Jackie"October 10, 2003 (2003-10-10)
Dana and Jackie are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
11"Liane & Paula"October 16, 2003 (2003-10-16)
Lian and Paula are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
12"Kenna & Michelle"October 23, 2003 (2003-10-23)
Kenna and Michelle are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
13"Candace & John"October 31, 2003 (2003-10-31)
Candace and John are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
14"Sarah & Liz"November 6, 2003 (2003-11-06)
Sarah and Liz are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
15"Deshante & Pam"November 13, 2003 (2003-11-13)
Deshante and Pam are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
16"Autumn & Jeff"November 26, 2003 (2003-11-26)
Autumn and Jeff are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
17"Jeff & Tammy"December 11, 2003 (2003-12-11)
Jeff and Tammy are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
18"Angela & Cynthia"January 8, 2004 (2004-01-08)
Angela and Cynthia are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
19"Arthur & Kim"January 22, 2004 (2004-01-22)
Arhur and Kim are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
20"Michael & Susan"February 5, 2004 (2004-02-05)
Michael and Susan are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
21"Nellie & Regina"February 16, 2004 (2004-02-16)
Nellie and Regina are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
22"Battle of the Bulge - Part 1"February 19, 2004 (2004-02-19)
The first part of the "Battle of the Bulge" two-parter.
23"Battle of the Bulge - Part 2"March 26, 2004 (2004-03-26)
The second part of the "Battle of the Bulge" two-parter.
24"Amanda & Patrick"March 11, 2004 (2004-03-11)
Amanda and Patrick are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
25"Jerry & Manu"March 17, 2004 (2004-03-17)
Jerry and Manu are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
26"James & Kacie"April 14, 2004 (2004-04-14)
James and Kacie are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
27"Kristina & Mike"April 28, 2004 (2004-04-28)
Kristina and Mike are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
28"Marilynda & Monika"May 6, 2004 (2004-05-06)
Marilynda and Monika are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.
29"Frances & Jennie & Kathryn"July 21, 2004 (2004-07-21)
Frances, Jennie, and Kathryn are the subjects of Extreme Makeover.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "'Set for Life' Finally Set for Air". Zap2it. 2007-06-06. Retrieved 2012-08-13.
  2. ^ a b c d e Newman, Jacquetta A., and Linda Ann White. Women, Politics, and Public Policy : The Political Struggles of Canadian Women (2nd ed.). Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford University Press, 2012. ISBN 978-0-19-543249-7.
  3. ^ Tristem, Andy (June 3, 2007). "Too tawdry for TV". Daily Express. Archived from the original on 2018-09-25. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  4. ^ Christensen, Kim (May 13, 2007). "'Makeover' left her emotionally scarred". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 2018-09-25. Retrieved 2018-09-25.
  5. ^ "TV shows canceled in the wake of scandal". news.com.au. October 29, 2014. Retrieved September 25, 2018.
  6. ^ Dr. Debra Gray King's practice is the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry
  7. ^ a b http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,455439,00.html
  8. ^ a b https://web.archive.org/web/20070930171419/http://www.abcmedianet.com/Web/progcal/dispDNR.aspx?id=060204_12
  9. ^ a b "Season Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. 2004-05-25. Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2004-05-25.
  10. ^ "Season Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. 2005-05-24. Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2005-05-24.
  11. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2005-05-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Season Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. 2005-07-26. Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2005-07-26.
  13. ^ "Season Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. 2007-05-30. Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2007-05-30.
  14. ^ "Season Program Rankings". ABC Medianet. 2007-07-31. Archived from the original on 2012-03-23. Retrieved 2007-07-31.

External links[edit]