Erin and Ben Napier Open Up About Filming the 100th Episode of 'Home Town'
The home-renovation power couple, based in Laurel, Mississippi, never imagined the show would make it to this milestone.
Oh, how time flies.
HGTV's Home Town premiered on January 24, 2016. What started as a pilot to see how viewers would react to a young, married couple tackling historical home renovations in the small, southern town of Laurel, Mississippi, transformed into one of the network's most enduring (and endearing) shows. Now, we’re on the precipice of the series’ 100th episode — which airs Sunday, February 4 at 8|7c.
"Last night we got to celebrate the 100th episode of Home Town with [almost] everyone who has ever been part of it. Hundreds of faces. It felt like a second wedding for us," co-host Erin Napier captioned a recent Instagram post featuring a photo of her and her husband Ben Napier. "We are so deeply honored we get to be part of Home Town and in your living rooms every week."
What better way to celebrate than to sit down with the very people who make the show possible? We chatted with the design duo about all things Home Town, including what it felt like to film the 100th episode; the moment they realized their beloved hometown had become a famous destination; and more.
Did you ever think Home Town would garner this much attention and success?
Ben: Absolutely not. Our expectations are always kept in check. We still feel like the network could call us tomorrow and say, "It’s just not working out. We are gonna wrap this up." We know entertainment is a finicky business.
Erin: I did feel a lot of people would find this show relatable, but I did not realize for how long.
At which point did you realize Laurel had become famous?
Ben: Having the Bush sisters film a Today show segment in our store, plus the numerous articles written about our town make it seem famous, but to us and the locals, it’s still the same great town it always was.
What has been your favorite renovation to date?
Ben: For me, it’s our farmhouse.
Erin: I feel like I am on vacation every time I’m there.
What has been your most emotional renovation to date?
Ben: The Jones College project. It was an incredible honor.
Erin: Agree, but also the Bird Dog Cafe episode when I learned my grandmother used to live in that house. At the time, she was in assisted living unable to speak after a series of strokes, and I wanted so badly to hear this from her. I wanted to know so much more, but it was all locked inside her forever.
What has been your scariest moment during Home Town renovations?
Erin: My scariest moment was getting a call that Helen, our 3-year-old daughter at the time, had broken her leg playing at Gold Star Park while we were filming the Rose house reveal on Home Town Takeover in Wetumpka [Alabama]. We had never left in the middle of a scene, much less during a reveal.
Ben: All of my scares happened when the red light was off. I've stepped through rotten floors and been slightly injured — which is never fun. During Season 2, I cut my finger pretty badly. Erin was pregnant, we were rushed and I was tired. I wanted the show to be perfect. I wanted to install a piece that day and ‘get the shot,’ and I cut my index finger on my right hand. There’s not even a scar now, but it scared me and got my attention.
How did it feel to film the 100th episode of Home Town?
Ben: For me, it felt like another day at work. We try to not make this job feel any different from every other job out there. That being said, 100 episodes of a television show feels like a big milestone. We are just incredibly grateful that people are still watching!
Erin: Somehow, against the odds, Home Town is one of those long-running shows that has been on through different seasons of a life, and that is so rare. There may be some kid who was in sixth grade when they watched our pilot episode and now they are a sophomore in college who watches it on trips home. Unbelievable.