Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

It’s time to return to Laurel, Mississippi where Ben and Erin Napier are transforming more historical landmarks and outdated properties in Home Town. The heartwarming home renovation series has been a massive hit for HGTV since its premiere in 2016. So, it’s no surprise that the network is preparing to air an additional 20 episodes starting on January 7 and has already renewed the show for a Season 8.

The opener sees the power couple work with Canadians moving to town and escaping the cold of the Great White North. With Ben recovering from shoulder surgery, he gets help with the renovations from best friends Jim Rasberry and Josh Nowell.

But before the new season, there is a bonus for fans of the Napiers with a special edition of the show entitled Home Town Holidays, which airs on Sunday, December 17 on HGTV. In it, Ben and Erin play Santa for five past clients and bring them a little Christmas cheer through special personalized handmade items.

Here Ben and Erin talk about why the show connects so strongly with audiences, and what’s next for them.

With the holiday show, you’re getting the chance to revisit with homeowners and give them something with input from loved ones. What does that mean to you? 

Ben Napier: We went back and forth with the network on [doing a holiday show.] Do we want to do a Christmas special this year? Next year I know we’re doing a different type of special, but I’m not going to tell you what it is. This year we were looking at ideas. Erin and I have been extremely blessed doing this and are extremely grateful for that. We’re trying to teach our own girls it’s not about getting anything. It’s about giving. That’s the best way to do this.

Erin Napier: It’s being in service to people at Christmas time. It’s easier to show them what that looks like.

Ben: This was kind of a no-brainer once we started talking it through.

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As for Home Town, we are in season 7 with season 8 already renewed. What is it about this show that resonates so much? 

Erin: People are looking for comfort because the world is tumultuous right now. It’s scary to watch the news. I think for a lot of people HGTV is the way they cope. It’s nice to see.

Ben: It’s a pair of cozy sweatpants.

Erin: It’s mac and cheese. It’s a comforting place to be.

Ben: Also, Home Town is very attainable. We’re dealing with budgets of less than a quarter million sometimes, but rarely have we, if ever gone over half a million. So it’s very attainable where you may have other shows where you have homeowners who have a budget of multiple millions. This is something anyone can do. Anyone can move to a small town, buy a house and renovate it, live in it, and be a part of that community.

Erin: It is relatable.

Ben, during the first episode of the new season you’re in the middle of recovery from shoulder surgery. How hard was it for you to sit out on the physical side of the work? 

Ben: Now I have the full range of motion. Look at that. Honestly, as far as work goes I liked stepping back, and sitting in a chair a little bit. It was complicated though. There were a lot of things I could not do.

Erin: There is only one episode where his shoulder is a part of what is happening. For the other episodes, we disguise it and pretend it wasn’t happening. But the recovery lasted many months.

Ben: As far as the construction side, it complicated things by the fact I was one less helping hand. I couldn’t jump in there. I could still give my opinion and help with the design and certain things. When it came to physical labor, I couldn’t be as physically present as I had been. The complicated part of it was filming. We make a TV show and there is scheduling for that.

Erin: He had to go to physical therapy three times a week.

Ben: We had to figure all that. We knew in December that I was going to have surgery in March. So we started planning everything.

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Ben, you have shared posts about how you were making your health a priority. How did your own transformation play into your work? 

Erin: He wakes up so early and works out five days a week. He has more energy at the end of the day than I do.

Ben: The days I don’t work out, the guys at work will know by lunch. They go, “Did you work out this morning? Do you need a coffee run?” Yeah, I would be crashing. I don’t understand the science behind that, but I feel better when I do it.

Erin: Which makes you better at your job.

Ben: Which makes me better at my job.

What are you most excited for people to see from these next episodes? 

Erin: These are some of our best episodes of all time. We feel like seasons 1, 4, and this one that is coming is some of the most special. There are going to be some heirloom houses and our origin story on our college campus.

Ben: And the biggest home we’ve ever done.

Erin: And we built a new house from scratch.

Ben: A lot of big stuff coming.

How would you say you’ve grown within this process? How is it working together for this long? 

Ben: We do better when we are together.

Erin: We are together essentially 24 hours a day, except when he is in the wood shop. Since we’ve met, the only way we know how to be is together. I don’t know. Maybe it would be a struggle for people who haven’t spent so much time together to all of a sudden have a job where they work together because you’re so set in your ways. But the ways we’re set in, we’re set together.

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced? 

 Erin: Things are so expensive, and it’s really hard to tell a story that people feel is relatable.

Ben: With COVID, you have this huge exodus out of big cities. That was great. We love having people. But…

Erin: Then small-town real estate got super expensive.

Ben: You have these bloated budgets because they sold their house in San Francisco for example for $8.2 million and go for a house the same size for $200,000, but offering $500,000 to make sure they get it.

Erin: That has changed the game and the market.

Ben: Also, building materials are high right now. Inflation is high.

Erin: We have to do more with less, which is hard.

What do you want to see with the future of the show? 

Erin: We want to tell the story of how things are made in small-town America. We’re sitting in the office now of our factory. We built a factory. That’s how much we care about making things in America. We also have an episode next season where we revisit a house we were working on. We did half last year and are going to do the other house. That’s a cool thing we never got to do.

Home Town: Home Town Holidays, December 17, 8/7c, HGTV

Home Town Season 7 premiere, January 7, 8/7c, HGTV

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The post ‘Home Town’: Erin & Ben Napier Talk New Season, Holiday Special & Tease Future appeared first on WorldNewsEra.

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