House Flipping Is Cool Again, Say Reality TV Producers With Very Short-Term Memories

When the housing market went into the toilet in 2008, all of those house-flipping shows that were hits on basic cable went down the drain too. But now that the housing bust is apparently over, reality TV producers seem to think it’s once again high time to dedicate hours of airtime to flipping.

CNBC, which some may still remember as a financial news channel, recently decided to get into the reality business and among the seven shows it is developing is “Flipping Wars: Las Vegas,” which fulfills the reality TV trinity of a buzz word “flipping,” the name of the city in which it takes place, and the now required use of “Wars.”

Here is how CNBC describes the show:

The housing market plunge has created big opportunities for folks who are willing to strap on a tool belt and take a gamble. “Flipping Wars: Vegas,” set in the city hardest hit by the housing crisis, follows four teams of wheeler dealers who see dollar signs every time they bid on a foreclosed home.

CNBC’s show will have to battle for space against A&E’s already-airing “Flipping Vegas,” which we haven’t seen because it must be really boring since the title does not include “Wars.” Of course, given the huge inventory of abandoned, never-built, and underwater properties in the area, there should be plenty of things for all this get-rich-quick warriors to squabble over.

Some would call it irresponsible for major cable networks to encourage consumers to jump into the high-risk world of house-flipping that could in theory reap rewards, but which could just as quickly leave you stuck with a fixer-upper you can’t sell and can’t afford — especially in Las Vegas, where financial restraint has never been in high supply.

“The tragedy of foreclosure is now entertainment for rich people,” writes Forbes’ Helaine Olen. “How fun.”

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