Erin and Ben Napier Are Back On Set to Film "Home Town" Season Five — Here's What Will Be Different

Kelly Corbett
Photo credit: Instagram / Erin Napier

From House Beautiful

While the season four finale of HGTV's Home Town aired less than three weeks ago, season five has already been confirmed and Ben and Erin are already back on set. But as you can imagine, filming during a pandemic will definitely change the show's production procedures. On Tuesday, Erin took to Instagram to document the couple's return to work.


Heath Racela⁠, a former senior producer and director of PBS's This Old House and Ask This Old House⁠, chatted with Ben and Erin Napier for a recent episode of his new podcast Quarantine Creatives with Heath Racela. They discussed some pretty heavy topics, from the Black Lives Matter movement, to the couple's faith, as well as the passing of Erin's grandmother (not to mention, having to see her off during a socially-distanced funeral). But of course, it wouldn't be an interview without discussing the Napiers' hit series Home Town. Fortunately, the couple was able to wrap season four before the state of Mississippi issued its stay-at-home order. "It was perfectly timed," Erin tells Racela. "March 10 was our last shoot day and the quarantine began March 15," she says. To give you an idea of what was going on in the country on their last day of filming, Erin notes that "was the day we found out Tom Hanks had COVID."

While the couple was able to successfully finish its fourth season without disruption, this new season will have some obstacles in store for them. Last month, Erin took to Instagram to share the good news: that the show would return for another season. She noted that filming would start in a few weeks, but didn't give an exact date. However, we found out more about season five as she spoke with Racela. "We go back to work on June 29," she says, adding "that was always the plan" and the date had not been pushed back due to COVID-19. She explains that she, Ben, and the entire crew are going to follow extreme precautions. "Everyone will be wearing masks except Ben and I when we’re on camera," she says. The couple will also not mention the pandemic during the show.

One thing that the Home Town crew will have to go without, for safety purposes: crew lunches. Erin explains "our favorite part of the day" was when she and Ben would have lunch with their crew—"all 20 or 30 of them". Crew members will now be given a stipend and eat on their own. "I’m a very social guy, so this has been very hard for me already," Ben says, noting the adjustment he'll have to make when it comes to socializing on set.

Racela also asks the Napiers about their crew, which, surprisingly, is only made up of a handful of Mississippi locals. The couple shares that their members come from all over the country, with one even hailing from outside the United States. "Our casting producer went home to Canada and now she can’t come back," Erin says, noting that they'll have to work with her over Zoom.

Despite the new changes, "we’re finding ways to make it work," Erin says. And if it's any two people that know how to turn a difficult situation into a positive experience, it's Ben and Erin Napier. Fingers crossed season five production will be smooth smailing. In the meantime, we'll just be watching re-runs while lighting our sweet smelling Laurel Mercantile Co. candles.

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