HGTV’s Christina Hall & Retta Reveal They’re Working on New Shows

Christina Hall, Retta

Getty Christina Hall, Retta

Two popular HGTV personalities announced big news this week, revealing that they’re both working on shows for other networks. Christina Hall, who just premiered her newest HGTV show, “Christina in the Country,” and Retta, who wrapped up the network’s third season of “Ugliest House in America” in early January, are both busy executive-producing new shows. In Hall’s case, she’ll stay behind the camera for the first time, while Retta will star in the mystery series she’s filming a pilot for. Here’s what you need to know:


Retta Filming Pilot of New Murder Mystery Series

Retta

HGTVRetta poses in the red bathroom at the Bowling Ally House in Colorado, as seen on season 3 of HGTV’s “Ugliest House In America.”

Long before Retta began hosting HGTV’s hit show, “Ugliest House in America,” she had risen to fame as a comedian and actress with roles on series like “Good Girls” and “Parks and Rec.” In January 2022, just as “Ugliest House” was debuting, she signed a talent-holding deal with NBCU, according to Variety. The exclusive agreement ensured that the network would find starring roles for her in shows across its broadcast, cable, and streaming platforms.

Now one of those projects has been given the green light. NBC has ordered a pilot for “Murder by the Book,” a drama series starring and executive-produced by Retta. The Hollywood Reporter says the series has been in the works for months, with Retta as one of four executive producers.

Retta will also star in the show, per NBCU’s announcement, as “an Instagram-famous, big city book reviewer” who’s inspired by the mystery books she reviews to become an amateur detective, uncovering “shocking truths” in a small seaside town.

This is a big step forward, paving the way for the team to actually film a pilot episode. A pilot, per Backstage, is a one-time episode that’s filmed to see if the idea truly works and could be successful, from the cast to the storyline to the setting.

On January 17, 2023, Retta shared several Hollywood trade stories about the news and wrote on Instagram, “The pilot got the green light and I couldn’t be more thrilled.”

Two days later, in a video on her Instagram Stories, Retta said, “I’ve been looking at the very kind messages that everybody has been leaving regarding our pilot pickup and it brings me to tears. I am very, very appreciative and grateful for the kind words.”

The pilot for “Murder by the Book” must get picked up by a network, and though NBCU owns multiple channels, there’s no guarantee their executives will see Retta’s show as a perfect fit.

“We’re gonna shoot the pilot and then it’s gotta get picked up, so not a done deal,” she laughed. “Though I feel good about it, not a done deal. So, keep the faith — prayers up, as they say! Hopefully, we’ll have a show shooting by the end of the year. We’ll see. Just grateful to be in this position.”


Christina & Josh Hall Producing New Real Estate Series

Christina Hall

HGTV/YouTubeChristina Hall on “Christina in the Country”

Meanwhile, Hall is staying behind the camera for her just-announced project. In 2022, the former “Flip or Flop” host launched her own production company with her husband, former police officer and real estate broker Josh Hall. Through the company, called Unbroken Productions, they now executive produce her HGTV shows, “Christina on the Coast” and “Christina in the Country,” but they are also beginning to develop and produce new shows starring different talent.

According to Deadline, the first series they’re working on that doesn’t star Christina is called “Coastal Crazy Rich Agents,” which follows successful real estate broker Keven Stirdivant, a former pro-skateboarder, and his family as they run their high-end KASE Real Estate firm in Orange County, California. The brokerage has 11 “successful–and equally ruthless–agents,” including Keven’s son, Eli. It’s not clear yet when or where “Coastal Crazy Rich Agents” will air.

According to Deadline, Unbroken Production works in partnership with Glass Entertainment Group, owned by former “Inside Edition” host Nancy Glass, and Balthazar Entertainment, which is run by Christina’s longtime friend and former HGTV executive Brian Balthazar.

In registration documents obtained by Heavy, the corporation was originally established in June 2021, a month before Christina and Josh began dating, and was called Infinite Productions. Its name was changed to Unbroken — which is also Josh’s Instagram handle — in February 2022, around the same time he was named CEO. The two were also married at a courthouse in early 2022, per People.

Christina wants to focus on creating more lifestyle docuseries and a lifestyle TV competition showcasing DIY-ers across the country, per Deadline, and is also developing a show with a California tattoo artist who gets their celebrity clients to open up about their personal lives while getting inked. The outlet also said Christina is eager to work with couples working in the “design space.”

Christina told Deadline, “Producing my own shows on and off camera has been something I’ve enjoyed doing for years. So starting a production company with Josh has been exciting and a natural transition.”

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