The other shows have regrouped by sending crews into new cities, including Nashville, Tenn.; New Haven, Conn.; and New Orleans to find fresh stories and neighborhoods where prices are still on the climb.
"We feel compelled to tell both sides of the story," said Carlos Ortiz, the executive producer in charge of Flip That House. "We're going to show viewers what's really happening in the market."
His show often revisits flippers from previous episodes to provide viewers with "recaps," such as when the sales price falls short of the initial projections.
"When people lose money, we are going to show them losing money," Ortiz said. "We're not going to spin everything so there are rainbows and bunnies at the end of every show."
Ortiz said there are different stories to tell. His crews have found uplifting real estate stories in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
"People are trying to restore these wonderful old houses, and we are showing that people aren't giving up on New Orleans," Ortiz said.
Robert Sharenow, a senior vice president at A&E in charge of nonfiction programming, predicted that programs like Flip This House would endure beyond "this hiccup in the market."
"The show is kind of recession-proof," Sharenow said. "If there are more foreclosures, that will make flipping opportunities more readily available. Even if the profit margins are slimmer, there will still be plenty of challenges and pressure and drama. It turns the heat up on the drama when times are tougher."
And cable executives seem to have an endless appetite for these shows. Already planned as part of Actual Reality Pictures' "flip empire" are such spinoffs as Flip That Restaurant, Flip That Loft, Flip It Back.
"Television is the land of wretched excess," said Brooks, the TV historian. "As soon as something is successful, everyone jumps on the bandwagon."
Meg James writes for the Los Angeles Times.