In the ever-evolving landscape of streaming television, Dabl, the free over-the-air TV network, has undergone a significant transformation with the turning of the calendar. Launched in September 2019 under the ownership of CBS, later transitioning to Paramount, Dabl initially carved a niche in reality programming, offering an array of lifestyle shows like “Escape To The Country,” “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”, and “60 Minute Makeover”. These popular titles catered to fans of home improvement while the service also offered programming devoted to cooking and lifestyle transformations. However, 2024 ushered in a dramatic shift to the network’s focus and content.
As of December 29, 2023, Dabl revamped its programming schedule, pivoting from these lifestyle-centric shows to a lineup reminiscent of the classic UPN channel. This transition includes popular series like “The Parkers,” “Sister Sister,” “Girlfriends,” and “Moesha,” marking a departure from its original ‘New Lifestyle Network’ branding.
Still, the shows that viewers have come to love from Dabl are still available online without cable. Here are three of the most popular programs from the good ol’ days of Dabl and where you can find them to stream.
Escape the Country (2002-Present)
“Escape to the Country,” a popular British TV series since 2002, caters to those dreaming of a quieter life in rural Britain. Each episode features a new set of homebuyers guided by property experts as they search for their perfect countryside home, fitting both their desires and budget. The show highlights stunning landscapes and rich culture of rural areas, providing viewers with a deeper appreciation of Britain’s hidden gems.
The show’s charm lies in its “Mystery House” segment, where buyers are shown an unexpected property choice, often broadening their perspectives. Renowned for its picturesque countryside settings and insights into local heritage, “Escape to the Country” has captivated a wide audience, leading to spin-offs like “Escape to the Continent” and “Escape to the Perfect Town.” This series is a beloved journey for those interested in rural living, British heritage, and scenic beauty.
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (2004-2012)
“Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” which aired from 2004 to 2012, was a highly popular ABC reality TV series that captured the hearts of viewers with its inspiring home renovations for deserving families. Hosted by Ty Pennington, each installment showcased a complete overhaul of a family’s home, often for those facing hardship or in need of help due to various circumstances. The show’s team, consisting of designers, contractors, and hundreds of workers, would work tirelessly to transform each home in just seven days, often rebuilding entire houses from the ground up.
The emotional reveal of the newly renovated home to the family was the highlight of each episode, often leading to heartwarming moments. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” stood out for its focus on community spirit and compassion, as local volunteers and neighbors frequently joined in to help. The series not only provided entertainment but also spread a message of hope and generosity, making it a beloved show among audiences. While controversial for the aftermath many participants faced when dealing with expensive upkeeping on their homes, the program has remained a sentimental favorite long since the final episode. Its impact was such that it led to the creation of several international versions, extending its legacy of changing lives through the power of community and home improvement.
60 Minute Makeover (2004-2018)
Airing for 14 years, “60 Minute Makeover” was a massively popular British home improvement show known for its high-speed makeovers. The premise of the program was unique as a team of designers and workmen, led by a host, would surprise homeowners with a complete transformation of several rooms in their house, all done in just 60 minutes. The team worked against the clock, creating dramatic and sometimes frenetic scenes of rapid renovation, which became a hallmark of the show.
The series was renowned not just for its speed but also for the emotional reactions of homeowners upon seeing their revamped homes. “60 Minute Makeover” blended the excitement of rapid transformations with heartfelt stories of the families benefiting from the makeovers, often selected due to personal challenges or contributions to their communities. The show’s format made it a hit, offering viewers the thrill of extreme time-limited renovations alongside touching personal stories, making it a staple in home makeover television.
Where to Stream: Freevee