Tribute special to master carpenter Norm Abram to air on Arkansas PBS Dec. 17


‘The House That Norm Built’ recognizes television trailblazer

CONWAY, Ark. (Arkansas PBS) — After over four decades, “This Old House’s” master carpenter and pioneer of the home improvement television genre Norm Abram is officially leaving the show and hanging up his toolbelt. Abram will be sent off in style with a one-hour tribute special “The House That Norm Built” airing on Arkansas PBS Saturday, Dec. 17, at 12:30 p.m.

The special will highlight and chronicle 43 years of Abram’s incredible career featuring classic moments, archived footage, interviews and memories from celebrities, friends, peers and those who worked alongside him. Abram’s inspiration reached far and wide for a humble man who became a national celebrity through his uncompromising craftsmanship, trademark plaid shirt, impersonations on popular sitcoms, bits on late night TV shows, morning shows, nationally syndicated cartoons and as the ultimate authority in home improvement. He appeared in over 1,000 episodes of “This Old House,” worked on over 50 home renovation projects and hosted more than 280 episodes of “The New Yankee Workshop.”

It all started for Abram on Christmas Eve in 1958 as he went with his father, a Boston carpenter, on a job installing hardwood floors. They installed the floors the old-fashioned way – with cut nails and a skill saw turned upside down on a milk crate. That first job led to many weekends and summer breaks spent with his father learning the discipline of methodical pace and common sense. Twenty years after that Christmas, Abram was “discovered” by creator Russell Morash, who had commissioned him to build a barn. So taken with Abram’s work, Morash invited the carpenter to help with the renovation of a house in Boston’s historic Dorchester section – with a WGBH camera crew recording the process for a series. It was an instant success, and Abram catapulted into home improvement guru status. He served as master carpenter of “This Old House” since the series’ 1979 premiere and host of “The New Yankee Workshop” a decade later.

About Arkansas PBS

Arkansas PBS, Arkansas’s only statewide public media network, empowers learners of all ages by educating, informing, entertaining and inspiring communities. Arkansas PBS serves as a daily and essential resource for Arkansans by creating, sharing, celebrating and driving conversation around Arkansas stories and classic, trusted PBS programs through multiple digital platforms, including livestreaming at, on-demand services and YouTube TV, and the distinct channels Arkansas PBS, Arkansas PBS Create, Arkansas PBS KIDS, Arkansas PBS WORLD and Arkansas PBS AIRS on SAP. Members with Arkansas PBS Passport have extended on-demand access to a rich library of public television programming. Arkansas PBS depends on the generosity of Arkansans and the State of Arkansas to continue offering quality programming. Additional information is available at Arkansas PBS is broadcast on KETS (Little Rock), KEMV (Mountain View), KETG (Arkadelphia), KAFT (Fayetteville), KTEJ (Jonesboro), KETZ (El Dorado), KETS (Lee Mountain), KETS (Forrest City) and KETS (Gaither).