Home Town Takeover, the latest show from dynamic renovation duo Ben and Erin Napier, has proven to be a massive hit for HGTV. The six-episode limited series ended its run on June 6, and Variety reports that it was able to pull very good ratings from a number of key demographics. According to the press release from HGTV, Home Town Takeover averaged an .89 live plus three-day rating among P25-54—a 73 percent lift from year-ago levels—and a 1.08 L3 rating among W25-54, reflecting an 86 percent lift versus year-ago numbers.
Not only that, but Home Town Takeover averaged a .90 rating among upscale P25-54 and a 1.14 rating among upscale W25-54. Home Town Takeover also performed well among households, averaging a 2.55 L3 rating, a 106 percent lift from year-ago benchmarks and a 1.34 L3 rating among P2+, an 113 percent lift over year-ago performance.
Not only was Home Town Takeover a ratings juggernaut, but it also did wonders in Wetumpka, Alabama, where it was filmed, boosting tourism and increasing interest in the once languishing town. "It has been a much larger increase in crowds and we’ve loved having all the people that want to see what going on here," resident Marilee Tankersly told WSFA earlier this week. Mayor Jerry Willis said the show highlighted the sense of community in the city, as everyone put their best foot forward on the show. "It was like the employees of this city, the citizens of this city, came together jointly, all of us working for one cause," he said.
The series also boosted tourism to the city during the pandemic. One Iowa visitor, Amanda Brooks, told WSFA she was so impressed she might even move there. "Coming together as one. that’s what I grew up with myself living in Sioux City and so I want to come back to that," she said. Joyce Holley, who visited from Maryland, said visiting Wetumpka left her "excited" about participating in revitalizing a small town and "move from a big city and slow it down and have community living."
Each Takeover episode focused on a different part of the Napiers' revitalization project. The finale focused on the new farmers' market, while other episodes focused on restaurants, shops, homes, and a downtown street. Residents hope the momentum continues, even with the show over. “I hope this spark of excitement, especially for the downtown area, keeps going and it just booms,” resident Vicki Mullino told Alabama News Network.
When the Napiers spoke with PopCulture in April, they said changing perceptions of small towns was one of the goals for Home Town Takeover. "So many people want to do what has happened in Laurel in their town, and they're coming to us and asking us for advice and so we felt like this would be a good way to kind of say this can happen anywhere," Ben told us. "It doesn't have to be Laurel." Erin added that there are "universal truths in revitalizing small-town America" and they hoped to share it.