More than ever, it’s all about home and family for Mark Steines.
The former “Entertainment Tonight” anchor-reporter is largely getting off the celebrity beat to keep it real for himself and others by teaming with “Trading Spaces” alum Paige Davis for two hours each weekday to host Hallmark Channel’s new program “Home & Family” starting Monday, Oct. 1. The duo will showcase a wide range of lifestyle matters from an actual house on Hollywood’s famed Universal Studios lot.
Leaving the glamor and frequent perks — including much travel — of “ET” was “a difficult decision,” Steines tells Zap2it. “You have to know when you want your soul to be fed differently, I guess.
“That was my home for 17 years, and when you think about it, that’s about the age your children are when they leave for college … but I needed a change. I was looking for something new and different, and this opportunity is such a sweet spot for me.”
Steines is married to Leanza Cornett, also a former “ET” correspondent who was Miss America 1993, and they have two sons. “There’s a part of me a lot of people never get to see,” Steines reflects, “being the dad and the tinkerer. I love working on house projects, to the point where it causes rifts between Leanza and me. She’s like, ‘If you do one more project, that’s it! No more remodeling.’ ”
Cornett may have a bit of a problem with her spouse’s new job, then, since do-it-yourself segments are very much in the “Home & Family” content mix.
“I’m a gadget guy,” Steines attests, “but I’ve never had a chance to show that off, and I’m hoping to be able to do that on this show. The first time I walked into the house, I immediately said, ‘We have to put some artificial grass in.’ You open a can of worms with this that I’m ready to dig into.
“[Two hours daily] is a lot of real estate to deal with,” Steines acknowledges, “and if anything, it’s going to be a balance of how we maintain a certain energy level. The challenge for me will be to keep people entertained while educating them.”