Sunday, a Laurel couple’s pilot episode for their new HGTV show Home Town, premiered at 11.am. CT.
People from around Mississippi came for a private viewing of the premiere at the Arabian Theater in Laurel to support the show’s stars Erin and Ben Napier.
Filming for the show began in May 2015. Sunday was the first time that the couple and residents of the Laurel community saw the show.
“I am over the moon excited because we’ve got all our friends and all our family here,” Ben Napier said.
The hour-long special featured the Napiers renovating a house in their home town of Laurel.
“Twitter was blowing up and talking about Home Town and talking about Laurel and how many homes are for sale in Laurel,” Erin Napier said.
The premiere received positive reactions from family, friends, and community members.
“The thing that makes Ben and Erin so unique is their passion for Laurel and I really think that was able to come through the screen,” friend Stan Pickering said.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun to see what happens when the rest of America gets to learn about Laurel and Jones County.”
Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant and his wife Deborah were also in attendance.
“It was just so much fun, and it was emotional because you could just see how excited they were to have that new home and to see Ben and Erin,” Governor Bryant said.
“There’s a lot of work put into that. It was great. Laurel has never looked so good very proud of how they represented Mississippi.”
Laura and Ross Tew were the homeowners featured in the pilot episode that received a home makeover from the Napiers. They said they were amazed by how well the show came out.
“It was like reliving the whole moment over again,” Ross Tew said.
“I might have teared up a little but, I think it turned out very well.”
The Napiers were overwhelmed by the support they received from their state and community.
“Throughout this we’ve told our Network and producers that Mississippi is basically a really big small town and that’s the way the state has acted,” Ben Napier said.
“Thank you so much for the support everybody.”
“We’re just so incredibly thankful and grateful for everybody that’s here,” Erin Napier said.
“They were a special part of making the show. Everybody that’s shared and told everybody to watch it. We appreciate you so much there’s no way to thank you.”
The Napiers said two months is the earliest they will hear back about a series. The couple says they will renovate 12 more homes if a series is approved.
After the private viewing the community held an open viewing at the Laurel Train Depot.