HGTV’s Newest Husband-and-Wife Team Takes on ‘Frankenhouses’

Denese and Mike Butler

Heavy/HGTV HGTV's newest married hosts, Denese and Mike Butler

From the Gaines to the Napiers, HGTV has a proven track record of striking ratings gold with shows starring married couples who have growing families and a gift for design. The network’s latest recruits to fit that mold are Denese and Mike Butler, a couple who’s raising their three young children in Boston while transforming homes in the area.

Mike is a third-generation contractor, according to the Boston Globe, and Denese is the founder of interior design studio My Perfect Vignette. On April 23, HGTV just announced, they’ll star in a new series called “Fix My Frankenhouse,” giving new life to homes that have been poorly updated in the past with “odd additions and piecemeal redesigns.”

In a press release, Mike said, “Over time, different owners can make changes to a home and eventually turn it into a ‘frankenhouse.'”

HGTV Producers Discovered Mike & Denese Butler on Instagram

Over the past year, the Butlers have been filming “Fix My Frankenhouse” with High Noon Entertainment, the production company that created “Fixer Upper” with Chip and Joanna Gaines, and continues to produce multiple hit series for HGTV, including Jonathan Knight’s “Farmhouse Fixer,” Mina Starsiak Hawk’s “Good Bones,” “Bargain Block” with Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas, and “Unsellable Houses” with twin sisters Lyndsey Lamb and Leslie Davis.

HGTV discovered the Butlers on Instagram, he said. In a post by Denese that same month, she said that multiple production companies had reached out to her about doing a TV show in 2019, and that they “finally made the choice on a company that aligns with our visions and goals.” Developing the show, she said, took three years of planning.

In the midst of all that, the couple has grown their family. They have three boys ages five and under — Ellis, Felix, and Luca. The couple leans on their extended family for help, including relying on their dads, master carpenters John Butler and Peter Doyle, to help with the renovations on their show.

‘Fix My Frankenhouse’ to Feature Homes That ‘Don’t Make Sense’

In April 2022, High Noon casting director Daniel Henningsen told the Boston Globe that the show would feature “homes that have had a plethora of renovations done over the course of their lifetimes — over the course of different time periods. The kind of houses that have gotten additions that truly don’t make sense.”

According to MassLive, HGTV aired a “sneak peek” episode of “Fix My Frankenhouse” in December, featuring a house that had seven different types of flooring, six staircases, three balconies and two additions to the house have been made. The episode aired in the middle of the day on December 29, according to ShowBuzzDaily, and landed in the top 50 most-watched TV shows of the week.

“Solving problems for families living in these types of homes is my favorite part of the job,” Mike said in a press release. “To fix the houses, I shake up the floor plans and build new layouts that actually function.”

“Once we have the updated layout in place, I restore flow to the home with cohesive modern design,” Denise added. “Sometimes our clients don’t know what they want, but it’s my job to help them navigate through the design process. Mike and I create a new identity for their house and show them that the home of their dreams was there all along.”

According to HGTV, the first of six episodes will feature an early 1900s home “brimming with special historic features” but totally dysfunctional spaces. The Butlers will “tear down walls, create an open kitchen and dining area and build a large mudroom and spa-like bathrooms.”

“Fix My Frankenhouse” premieres on April 23 at 9 p.m. Eastern time.