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Bill Beckwith and the love for HGTV

By Lisa Respers France, CNN
updated 9:13 PM EST, Wed December 4, 2013
Bill Beckwith was a popular member of the HGTV series
Bill Beckwith was a popular member of the HGTV series "Curb Appeal."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • HGTV network has devoted fans
  • Viewers offered condolences when host Bill Beckwith died Monday
  • Another host says it's a "wholesome network"

(CNN) -- As one of the stars of HGTV's "Curb Appeal," Bill Beckwith had a solid fan base.

His death Monday in a motorcycle crash in San Francisco highlighted the love many have for HGTV, which features plenty of "real estate porn" programming and likeable hosts who are popular among the DIY crowd. Tributes to Beckwith very quickly appeared on the show's Facebook page and Twitter after it was reported that the 38-year-old had died when his motorcycle collided with a vehicle in San Francisco's Lower Haight neighborhood.

His brother, Christian Beckwith, told CNN that his brother's gig on the show was actually "the least interesting thing" about the HGTV host. His brother loved adventure, he said.

"He needed to chase experiences and embrace life in its raw form as often as possible," his brother said. "And so that took a lot of different forms over the course of his life."

"A real loss - so sorry for his friends and family - the show is my favorite HGTV show," one commenter wrote on Facebook, while another fan tweeted "Paul Walker and NOW Bill Beckwith who's next."

With shows like "House Hunters," "Love It or List It" and "Curb Appeal," the niche network appears to appeal to everyone, from those who love to rehab on the weekends to home dwellers dreaming big when it comes to their abodes.

Sometimes the participants themselves are enough to make viewers tune in.

"Yelling at the television during "House Hunters" has become almost a sport," according to a recent Huffington Post article. "You just can't help yourself. There's couple after couple, making the same remarks, having the same debates and wearing the same casual garb from episode to episode. Yet we still watch -- because we love it."

Beckwith was a carpenter on "Curb Appeal," which offers homeowners a little makeover magic in order to help their houses make a better first impression.

"The HGTV family is deeply saddened by Bill's tragic death, and we mourn his loss along with his many family and friends who will miss his creativity, adventurous spirit and general love of life," the show said in a statement Wednesday.

Much like the Food Network, HGTV (which stands for Home and Garden TV) has made stars of its hosts and has additional properties, such as HGTV Magazine, which showcases its content. Chip Wade, host of HGTV's "Elbow Room," told Atlanta Magazine during a recent interview that "HGTV is a wholesome network" that doesn't "fabricate drama."

"[The network's] bread and butter is people leaving it on all day," he said. "You can't bring in much ridiculousness and maintain that type of audience."

The shows have a devoted following that hold the network to being above fabrication. In 2012 there was a slight uproar when a "House Hunters" participant, Bobi Jensen, said the series made her and her husband pretend that they were still seeking out homes to buy, when really, the decision had already been made. On top of that, Jensen said, some of the episode's scenes were staged and shot multiple times.

The show quickly responded, explaining that "we're making a television show, so we manage certain production and time constraints, while honoring the home buying process."

"To maximize production time, we seek out families who are pretty far along in the process," a publicist for the show told Entertainment Weekly in a statement. "Often everything moves much more quickly than we can anticipate, so we go back and revisit some of the homes that the family has already seen, and we capture their authentic reactions. Because the stakes in real estate are so high, these homeowners always find themselves RIGHT back in the moment, experiencing the same emotions and reactions to these properties."

Despite it all, Jensen told EW she "loves HGTV."

CNN's Jane Caffrey contributed to this report.

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