|What happens when you take a popular hip-hop artist and a furniture designing competition, mix them together, and turn them into a reality TV show? You end up with Spike TV’s newest series, “Framework,” which premiers on January 6 and features Common, an artist and actor who is well known on the hip-hop scene.
According to Spike TV’s official statement, “Framework” will take place over the course of 10 weeks and will feature 13 up-and-coming furniture designers as they compete for a grand prize consisting of $100,000 cash, plus the chance to have their own pieces produced and sold by a major furniture manufacturer.
Spike TV states that the designers will be “pushed to the brink of their physical and creative limits with challenges that ask them to reconsider everything they know about designing and building furniture.” Like other design-centered reality TV shows (such as “Project Runway,” which currently airs on the Lifetime channel), the 13 designers in “Framework” will be required to use unconventional materials and innovative design techniques in order to make their own individual pieces stand out.
Each episode will feature a different competition, and one contestant will be voted off at the end of each episode by a panel of judges, including Common, award-winning designer Nolen Niu, and Brandon Gore, the creator of furniture line Hard Goods.
While a hip-hop artist may seem like a confusing choice for a hosting position on a TV show about furniture, Spike TV notes that Common’s experience in a variety of artistically driven industries — excelling in the music business as a hip-hop lyricist, acting in movies and on television, writing multiple books, and dedicating his time and money to philanthropic organizations — has allowed the media mogul to develop a keen eye for the types of design trends that are likely to succeed.
“Framework” is certainly taking reality TV to a new level in terms of subject matter, and although it seems unlikely that the show will attain the sort of success that other design shows have found, the show might symbolize something more than a lack of new content for unscripted TV shows.
As the Millennial generation starts entering their 20s and 30s — i.e., leaving college behind and moving into the workforce — it makes sense that they’d be willing to invest in something like high-quality furniture pieces. Gone are the days of assembling IKEA “Five Minute Furniture.”
This group of consumers is starting to drive the economy in a major way, and despite coming of age during the Great Recession, they’re surprisingly aware that cheaper is usually never better.
And what better way to bring in an audience of young adult consumers than with a respected figure like Common as the show’s public image? The creators of “Framework” might actually be onto something with this show.