Shooting wraps on Erik Estrada’s new TV series in Wilmington
Former “CHiPs” star hosts home makeover series “Divine Renovation”
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Erik Estrada skyrocketed to stardom on board a motorcycle, playing the role of Officer Frank Poncherello on NBC’s hit show CHiPs in the late 70s and early 80s. The series’ success made Estrada a household name. Estrada’s new series, Divine Renovation, which just finished shooting in the Wilmington area, adds a spiritual element to the familiar genre of home renovation/restoration shows.
“About six or seven months ago, I got a call from Monty (Hobbs, a Wilmington native and one of the show’s executive producers),” Estrada said while standing outside a home where one of the renovation projects is taking place. “He told me what he planned to do and all that. I said, ‘When you get all your ducks in a row, give me a call. I like the idea. I want to be part of it.’ It’s my way of doing something positive.”
Hobbs said the team behind Divine Renovation worked with local non-profit organizations to identify individuals in southeastern North Carolina in need of assistance. Those groups included Wilmington Area Rebuilding Ministry, Welcome Home Angel, and Coastal B.U.D.S. Jessica Wilson, the Executive Director of Coastal B.U.D.S., helped connect homeowner Kerri Miller to Hobbs and his network. Miller is a single mom, raising her 7-year-old son Dax, who suffers from autism and down syndrome. Wilson even joined the group of volunteers at Miller’s home, helping to paint some of the finished renovations.
“You know you’re giving back,” Wilson said in-between brush strokes. “This isn’t something for me. This is something for Kerri and for Dax that’s going to make their lives better.”
Crews put in a new floor in Miller’s home, and they installed a new ceiling fan in Dax’s bedroom. But the biggest improvement is happening in the backyard, where volunteers removed old, rotted decking and plan to create a new, safer play area for her son to enjoy.
“It’s going to be such a big help because it wasn’t safe for Dax,” Miller said. “There were screws and rotten boards that have fallen through, and it’s going to be completely revamped, and a safe place for him to run and be a little boy like he should be.”
“I think she’s going to be so excited and so happy,” Wilson added. “Just to see Dax go out in his yard and be able to play safely in their new yard and everything it’s going to be. It’s going to be great.”
Catholic Charities of Raleigh added the ‘divine’ element, by helping on every renovation job Hobbs set up for the series’ first season. Volunteers provided the muscle, while local organizations and businesses donated the materials for each improvement project.
“North Carolina does a lot for its people,” Estrada said, praising the community’s effort to improve the lives of local families. “She’s got a person coming in to help with the child, another one for therapy, and it’s all from North Carolina, which is great. It’s great when a city or a state or the village helps raise the child.”
Camera crews have captured the site work, so audiences of Divine Renovation can see the before and after. The lives made better, and the new friendships born along the way.
Now that the shooting schedule is completed, Hobbs says the goal is to have all the episodes edited by January. That’s when the process will begin to find a network or platform where Divine Renovations will air. WECT will update this story when that information is available.
Copyright 2022 WECT. All rights reserved.