4 Titusville natives featured on HGTV’s ‘Steel City Rehab’

Titusville natives (from left) Jesse Wig, Kris Bennett, Tara Bennett and Cameron Nicols will be featured on HGTV Sunday during the pilot episode of their television show "Steel City Rehab." (By Frank Vilsack)Titusville natives (from left) Jesse Wig, Kris Bennett, Tara Bennett and Cameron Nicols will be featured on HGTV Sunday during the pilot episode of their television show "Steel City Rehab." (By Frank Vilsack)

By SAXON DAUGHERTY  Staff writer

Four Titusville natives will be in the national spotlight Sunday when a pilot episode of their television show airs on HGTV.

“Steel City Rehab” is a program centered around Kris and Tara Bennett’s efforts to flip houses in the Pittsburgh area.

The couple started their own business – K Bennett Development – in 2009, and later teamed up with Jesse Wig to start real estate brokerage firm Lifespace Pittsburgh to help sell their properties.

Cameron Nicols, a longtime friend of the Bennetts, also helps the group as a project manager.

Bodega Pictures, a video production company from Los Angeles, California, came across the group on social media and reached out to see if the Bennetts were interested in creating a show about their work.

A Skype interview ensued and a film crew eventually came out to capture a trailer reel over the course of two days to pitch to networks.

“They liked us and our dynamic,” Wig said.

Producers from HGTV were intrigued by the short five-minute clip and ordered a pilot episode.

Following six more months of filming, the pilot episode is ready to air Sunday at noon on HGTV. If the ratings come back on a positive note, the show would be extended to a full season.

Word has quickly spread throughout the community and the Pittsburgh transplants are excited to see what people think of their version of a show that is commonplace on a variety of television stations.

“The whole thing has been crazy for us,” Tara Bennett said. “It’s very cool, but it’s weird for us because we have known about it for so long and couldn’t let the cat out of the bag until last week.”

“We were kind of bracing for some negative stuff, but we haven’t gotten any,” Tara Bennett continued.

The Bennetts think their show will be unique because it is showcasing Pittsburgh and features more than just a married couple as its personalities.

“Pittsburgh is a very cool and an up-and-coming city right now,” Tara Bennett said. “Jesse and Cameron add a lot to it too. They are both very funny guys.”

Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman John Malecki is also slated to make a guest appearance.

Although the Bennetts did not start flipping houses to make it on television, it is something that have heard often leading up to this point.

“Honestly, as our business kept growing, people kept saying it to us constantly,” Tara Bennett said. “It kind of feels like fate.”