The problem with making one of television's most successful programs, Scott Cam admits, is you then have to make it better.
After 17 seasons of The Block, easily one of the most popular reality television programs in Australia, that's exactly the dilemma Scott and The Block team faced when preparing for the 2022 season.
They decided the answer was to go bush and go big – very big.
Set on 28 hectares of farmland outside Gisborne, 55 kilometres north of Melbourne, this year's The Block will feature five teams, each allocated a reno-ready historic home with new pavilion extensions that bring the floor size up to around 500 square metres per build.
Oh, and then they'll have four hectares of yard to landscape any way they want, Scott says, some even including tennis and basketball courts, vineyards, dams and a creek.
"Oh, it's big!" Scott, 59, tells TV WEEK. "The civil works alone were enormous. We had to build roads, intersections, bridges and more… all you need is a post office and a school and you've got a town."
Throw in a sixth house, this one to be built by Scott himself (with a team of builders that include past The Block contestants Duncan and Spence) and the result is a challenge so huge he admits there were times he wasn't even sure it could be done.
"It was exhausting for everyone," Scott says. "We had long days in really trying conditions – at one stage, I think we had 42 days of rain out of 50. The mud that came from that was horrendous.
"Then there were the supply chain issues and labour shortages that every builder in Australia is facing. It was tough!
"But we battled through and got there in the end. It's going to be great to watch, because the transformation of 70 blank acres into what we've done is incredible."
Scott's co-host Shelley Craft says he's not kidding. This The Block will be a monster unlike anything contestants have faced before and not all will last.
"The Block always finds new challenges for the contestants, so those who auditioned this year must have that inkling of fear about what they might be coming into," Shelley, 46, says.
"Last year, we had basements to contend with. This year, it's the houses, the extensions, the landscaping – plus the fact that these are city slickers who haven't traipsed around in mud in their lives.
"The result is people who are way out of their depth and way out of their comfort zones."
The result, she admits, is tears and tantrums galore.
"And laughs and growth too, though," she adds.
"Which is great, because for me, it's all about the contestants' journey and how much they grow through the experience. It's inevitable that, out there in all that dirt, topsoil and cow poop, there's going to be lots of growth!"