BUILDERS HAVE LONG RECOGNIZED television's ability to tell compelling stories, but have shied away from it because of the expense. Now, the consortium that created Builder Homesite has pooled its collective resources to produce New Home Lifestyles, a 30-minute “infotainment” show featuring families whose lives have been changed by owning a new home.

Shown in high-definition, the program debuted in Orlando in September as a pilot project, showcasing Lennar Corp., KB Home, Centex Homes, Beazer Homes USA, David Weekley Homes, and Pulte Homes. This month, the show hits the small screen in Houston, says Builder Homesite chairman and CEO Tim Costello.

Hosted by Robin Hartl, former host of the Hometime television show, each episode of New Home Lifestyles featured four segments, each an interview with a home buyer.

Viewers who wanted more information were directed to a Web site ( set up specifically for the show. Visitors could view all the segments online in case they missed an episode on TV. In four weeks, the site had more than 2,000 complete views of the shows, which means that visitors watched all of the segments.

Lennar jumped at the chance to tell its “everything is included” story on television and to “tie in to the whole home and garden reality TV trend,” says corporate creative director Steve Berenfeld.

“TV lets you get emotional, and ‘everything is included' is an emotional story,” he says. “When you're interviewing people about that, [the message] just shines right through. The beauty is that it's a long time. Five minutes is an eternity when you live in a 30-second world.”

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Houston, TX.