‘Making it Grow’ on SCETV to debut flashy new set
SUMTER — Starting Feb. 10, “Making It Grow” will unveil a brand-new set, replacing the “country store” scenery used for more than a decade.
But longtime fans of the popular television program on horticulture need not fret. The live, interactive show, produced by SCETV and Clemson University, will continue to stick to its roots — educating and entertaining a South Carolina audience that has grown to include viewers from Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.
Amanda McNulty, the show’s host since 2012, has spearheaded the set’s transformation, thanks in large part to a donation from the South Carolina Department of Agriculture and additional funds from the ETV Endowment of South Carolina. Design experts associated with Clemson’s Brooks Center for the Performing Arts have provided plenty of advice and hands-on labor.
“Horticulture is now something that is embraced not only by people who have a traditional rural life but by people who are urban and may do it in a limited form,” said McNulty, whose wide-ranging career includes her current stint as an Extension agent for Clemson University. “From pots and containers to patio gardens, horticulture has become a passion that spans a broader spectrum than it has in the past. There’s an enormous surge of people who want to have connections with growing things.”
The new set is a reflection of McNulty’s personality: colorful, lively and with a lot of moving parts. McNulty herself is a bundle of energy, filled with passion about everything from gardening to gift shops. But she insists that though the program will have a different look, its message will remain the same.
The hour-long show, which broadcasts live at 7 p.m. Tuesdays on SCETV and also features tape-delayed versions at 8 p.m. Tuesdays and 3:30 p.m. Saturdays on the SC Channel, begins with a panel discussion featuring McNulty, Extension agents from around the state and guests who bring their own expertise. The program includes cooking demonstrations in a fully equipped kitchen, plant and product demonstrations at a decorative counter area, and one-on-one interviews at a cozy window seat. A fireplace adds even more charm to the live, online chat area hosted by Extension agent Terasa Lott.
Each show features a special video segment produced outside the studio at farms, nurseries, garden centers and a variety of other South Carolina venues.
“When Amanda took over, it was time to make a change, so we designed a set that is more like home,” said Sean Flynn, who is the show’s producer as well as a production manager for Clemson University. “In our new kitchen, we can show people how to cook everything from collards to peach cobblers.”
Shannon Robert, associate professor of scene design in performing arts at Clemson University, was part of the staff at the Brooks Center who helped design and construct the set. Robert said getting to know McNulty helped cement their vision.
“Designing for television is a little bit different than theater because of framing and formatting space for the camera,” said Robert, who spent as much time commuting between Clemson and Sumter as she did washing paint out of her hair. “But the key was getting to know Amanda first. We met several times, and one time we were having tea and she pulled her own teacup out of her purse. Things like this helped give me a sense of who she was and what she was about. I learned what they wanted the set to be through her eyes.”
While the country store was being dismantled and replaced by the new set, “Making It Grow” took up temporary residence in a studio in Columbia. But soon the new set will make its debut.
In the meantime, “Making It Grow” will have its same graceful touch.
- “Making It Grow” can also be viewed live online at http://www.mig.org
- To watch past shows, go to http://video.scetv.org/program/making-it-grow