So far, this sounds about as original as beige paint on your living-room walls. The twist here is that the contestants are not aspiring designers and builders, they're all successful professionals.
"They're not trying to become anything," said host/executive producer Nate Berkus. "They already are."
And that's a egregious error. A big part of what makes reality/competition shows work is the everyman element. If somebody making minimum wage wins the lottery, it's a great story; if a millionaire wins the lottery, not so much.
Beyond that, it's pretty much impossible to root for the contestants on "American Dream Builders." These back-biting, egomaniacal idiots are downright unpleasant to watch.
Just wait until you see this sequence: Contestant Christine Salway is trying to talk on the phone to team leader Jay Riordan, and fellow contestant Elaine Griffin is shrieking at her. When Salway tries to hush Griffin so she can hear, Griffin loses her mind and attacks Salway for being rude.
It's as unpleasant a moment as you'll see on TV. And yet Berkus and rest of the "American Dream Builders" team think it's great entertainment.
"We're forcing these people who have 12 massive egos to work as teams," Berkus said. "When they don't work well together, [judge] Monica [Pedersen] and I are, like, hiding under the desk.
"It's so scary when people aren't good team players."
That is NOT entertainment.
And NBC has missed the irony that, in Sunday's premiere, one team is criticized for its scattershot design and lack of cohesion.
Really? That's a problem on a show that features idiots screaming at each other one minute and tearful homeowners giving out hugs the next?
"American Dream Builders" is embarrassingly bad.
Scott D. Pierce covers television for The Salt Lake Tribune. Email him at email@example.com; follow him on Twitter @ScottDPierce.