Friendship with Wolfe led to DIY reality show

Friday, May 20, 2016, Vol. 40, No. 21
By Hollie Deese

Troy Shafer and Julie Couch of the DIY Network show “Nashville Flipped.”

-- 2015, Hgtv/ Scripps Networks, Llc. All Rights Reserved

Nashville’s Troy Dean Shafer, host of DIY Network’s “Nashville Flipped,” had met with a number of different production companies over six years before landing the show.

They were all looking for a certain character, Shafer says, and he wasn’t willing to play.

“They were looking for some over-the-top drama, and I get it. That makes good TV, and that’s the way a lot of house flipping shows are, but that’s definitely not me,” Shafer says. One producer even suggested he park his modest Mercury Mountaineer and rent a sports car for filming.

“I’m not dramatic, and even if I was, I wouldn’t go on TV and broadcast it, because the show may last one year, but I need this company to last,” Shafer says. “I want to pass this down to kids. I don’t want anyone thinking anything other than who I really am.”

Shafer was settled with the idea of never doing a TV show when he ran into a Wal-Mart three years ago to pick up a birthday cake for his now-wife Becky and saw that Mike Wolfe of Antique Archaeology and American Pickers was there signing his book.


“Becky and I watched the show all the time, and that day was her actual birthday,” he says. “I thought it would be cool to get him to sign something for her. I waited in line and as soon as I met him, he knew who I was because I was wearing my Nashville Flipped hat and shirt.”

Shafer handed over his business card and was surprised to hear from him the very next day. Wolfe was in the process of buying an old historic building on the corner of 18th and Joe Johnston and wanted Shafer’s opinion. They hit it off over coffee and soon they were hanging out with their wives, as well, and Wolfe hired Shafer to renovate a home for his stepson in Inglewood.

After about a year of friendship, Wolfe asked Shafer if he could connect him with his friends at the Knoxville-based Scripps Network, owners of HGTV and the DIY Network. Shafer made it clear he’d been down that road and was only interested in being himself. Wolfe couldn’t agree more.

“He knew the value of owning a company and a brand name, and he’s a brilliant business person,” Shafer says. “He made that call, and the next thing I know they’re around to do the pilot episode.

“I didn’t even see the pilot episode before it aired. I watched it that night with the rest of the world. I had no idea how I was going to be portrayed.

“Sure enough, it was portrayed exactly as he promised, because he was the executive producer, and it was his friends at TackleBox, who did a great job. It was perfect.”