Actor and TV personality Mario Lopez has a new makeover show called "Supersize My Pool" starting Saturday on HGTV, File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
July 6 (UPI) -- Mudslides ravaged the back yard of Mario Lopez's California home two years ago, but the damage has been repaired and the Saved by the Bell alum and Extra host now helped others overhaul their outdoor spaces.
His makeover series, Supersize My Pool, is set to debut on HGTV on Saturday.
"I learned to appreciate the back yard when I couldn't use it for almost a year," the 45-year-old father of two young children told UPI in a phone interview Monday.
The experience of having part of his property break away and tumble onto the road below might have "subconsciously played a role" in Lopez signing on to the docu-series, he acknowledged.
But he also loved the idea of offering families a means to relax and enjoy their homes on another level -- for free.
"I felt like Willy Wonka taking care of these people. It's a fun summer show and it reminded me of Pimp My Ride, but I'm pimping out people's pools. Not just the pool, the whole back yard!"
Homeowners were chosen to appear on Supersize My Pool based on videos they submitted.
Lopez and his team then showed up and worked their magic, giving the winners resort-style spaces with swimming areas, grottoes, water slides and hot tubs.
Among the obstacles the people faced in trying to do the work themselves were time and budgetary constraints.
"Sometimes a contractor ripped them off, sometimes it's just broken-down and decrepit. It's a variety of things. But it's all families and it's all kids and I come to the rescue," Lopez said.
The show has given Lopez some ideas he'd like to implement at home.
"It made me realize what a dreary pool I have. It could really use a face-lift. My kids are already hitting me up," he said.
Any plans to update his own pool will likely have to wait, though, since wife Courtney is due to give birth soon to their third child.
"We're definitely going to be nesting," he said.
Supersize My Pool fits with the brand of positivity Lopez has built up over more than three decades in the entertainment industry.
The host of a daily iHeartRadio show and former contestant on Dancing with the Stars also has appeared in the Broadway musicals Chicago and A Chorus Line. He has emceed the Daytime Emmy Awards show for the past three years and is an executive producer of Netflix's upcoming, family comedy, The Expanding Universe of Ashley Garcia.
Lopez credits his career longevity to a good work ethic and continuous excitement about new projects.
"I just feel blessed to have a great support system with my wife and family, mom and dad. I try not to limit myself, work hard, stay focused and do the right thing -- and the right things have worked out for me. So I will continue to do that and just to be open to what the universe has in store, whether that's singing, dancing, acting, hosting. Whatever the case may be."
Despite his busy schedule, Lopez still finds time to hang out with his former Saved By the Bell cast-members Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Tiffani Thiessen and Elizabeth Berkley. The stars and their spouses got together for dinner as recently as April and shared photos on social media to the delight of their fans.
Lopez said he didn't realize at the time he was making the high-school sitcom that it would be something cherished by generations.
"It was just a kids' show. I thought I would do it for a little bit. I didn't know it would be around 30 years later," he said, admitting he isn't sure what people love so much about it.
"I have no idea. It surprises me every day," Lopez laughed.
Saved by the Bell originally aired from 1989 to 1993 and was followed by The College Years, which ran from 1993 to 1994. The sitcom remains popular in reruns.
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