After three episodes, Animal Planet’s new series Treehouse Masters has become a Friday night hit for the network, even though it would appear to have little to do with animals.
Treehouse Masters follows Pete Nelson as he designs private escapes for people who wish to reconnect with nature and perhaps awaken their inner child through treehouses they only could have dreamed of in their youth — some even including functional plumbing and electricity. Nelson has a team of designers and carpenters helping him out, including his son Charlie. Additionally, Pete and his wife, Judy, and daughter, Emily, own and operate TreeHouse Point, a bed and breakfast in Washington.
Watching Pete bring people’s desires to life in Treehouse Masters has clicked almost immediately with viewers. Animal Planet says that the May 31 series premiere of Treehouse Masters brought in 1.3 million P2+ viewers and performed strongly among all key demos, including 924,000 HH; 607,000 P25-54; 516,000 P18-49; 355,000 M25-54; and 252,000 W25-54.
The second episode of Treehouse Masters on June 7 grew its audience 10 percent over the debut, according to Animal Planet, bringing in 1.5 million P2+ viewers. Versus Week One, the series also pulled in 931,000 HH (+1%); 678,000 P18-49 (+31%); 649,000 P25-54 (+7%); 359,000 W18-49 (+57%); 308,000 W25-54 (+22%); and 319,000 M18-49 (+11%).
For the first two weeks, Treehouse Masters had the established fishtank renovation series Tanked as a lead-in. With that show having aired its Season 3 spring season finale on June 7 (the timeslot is being filled with Tanked: Unfiltered Season 2 new episodes), we’ll see if Treehouse Masters can sustain its ratings climb. It seems the sort of show that should maintain interest now that people are aware of it.
Upcoming episodes of Treehouse Masters include the following (all times ET/PT; descriptions from Animal Planet):
“Treetop Taphouse” — June 21 at 10pm. An Ohio family enlists Pete to build a brewery-in-the-sky on their massive rural property. With the help of a few Amish locals, Pete crafts a barn-themed tavern with a brewing system in the trees accessible by a rope bridge 25 feet off the ground.
“Spirit House Retreat” — June 28 at 10pm. A writer in Rhinebeck, N.Y., calls on Pete to build a hideaway to embrace her creativity. Pete transforms an old cedar tree into a gold-leafed “Spirit House” retreat filled with uplifting oddities and a loft to rest the brain if she hits a writer’s block.
“Backyard Bungalow” — July 5 at 10pm. Faced with the need to expand their house after daughter Hope returns from college, a couple in Medford, Oregon, calls Pete to expand their not-so-empty nest. Distracted by constant visits from the couple filled with ideas, Pete sets off to build the expansion in a series of white oak trees. As the clients’ requests continue to evolve, Pete transforms the design into a multi-faceted guesthouse that can accommodate their daughter as well as other guests who visit the family. It has bunk beds, a comfy loft and a spacious bedroom that sleeps eight comfortably with a living room to take the fun from the main house and entertain visitors with a view of the beautiful mountains.
“Canopy Clubhouse” — July 12 at 10pm. With a budget as high as the trees in its backyard, a family in Bedford, New York, hires Pete to design a dream clubhouse for the entire family. The checklist of requests is anchored by a central two-story structure with a roof reaching 40 feet off the ground, providing a view above the built-in white oak trees. The treehouse has three main areas: a big BBQ patio with a grill for entertaining; a spacious living room decorated with antique treasures for the family to lounge; and a chalkboard-covered playroom complete with a lofted nook for the girls to have sleepovers. To make this treehouse extra special, Pete installs a secret trap door, a dumb-waiter system, and a fire pole and monkey bars.
“Love Is in the Air” — July 19 at 10pm. An adventurous couple wants to host their wedding at Treehouse Point, but all of the existing treehouses are booked. Pete convinces his family to make room for a new addition and constructs a magical Honeymoon Suite. Working with the couple’s tight timeline, Pete constructs the treehouse just in time to host both the wedding and honeymoon. Guests will be able to admire the ceremony from the ground, or climb the stairs to the top of the treehouse and enjoy the view from a crow’s nest 250 feet off the ground.
Treehouse Masters image: Gilles Mingasson/Animal Planet