Hooper: From big dreams to dream homes, Riverview couple looks to shine on HGTV

Brian Kleinschmidt and Mika McGee Kleinschmidt make their debut Saturday at 10 p.m. on the popular network.
Rivverview's Mika McGee Kleinschmidt and Brian Kleinschmidt debut "90 Day Dream Home," Saturday at 10 p.m. on HGTV. Photo courtesy of Brian Kleinschmidt.
Rivverview's Mika McGee Kleinschmidt and Brian Kleinschmidt debut "90 Day Dream Home," Saturday at 10 p.m. on HGTV. Photo courtesy of Brian Kleinschmidt.
Published April 23
Updated April 25

They sized up the structure and decided it would require two Jeeps, two chains, a bit of coordination to tear it down.

They also needed multiple GoPros, a camera crew and a drone.

With chains hooked to opposite walls, the Jeeps took off in different directions, spinning their tires before skipping across the dirt and forcing the walls to give way and collapsing the 40-year-old steel structure in a heap.

Yes, Brian Kleinschmidt and Mika McGee-Kleinschmidt landed a show on HGTV about building homes -- by tearing one down.

The Kleinschmidts debut 90 Day Dream Home on HGTV this Saturday at 10 p.m., hopeful it can capture the attention of viewers because it’s not about rehabbing properties or flipping houses.

It’s about building homes from the ground up.

HGTV simply describes the show as a Tampa husband-and-wife team making dream homes come true, but the Kleinschmidts say it’s far from simple.

Each episode will feature Mika as the realtor, taking clients on inspirational tours so they can pick and choose various aspects of existing houses to create their new home. As the project manager, Brian brings the vision to life in 90 days or less – or about the time it takes other shows to rebuild homes.

“We’re bringing a niche that they don’t have right now,” Mika said. “Nobody is doing new construction. No one thought you could build a quality new home in that time. We’re building new homes in the same time people rehab homes.”

The Kleinschmidts bring a lot of business savvy to the show. They co-own several Anytime Fitness gyms and both have long invested in real estate. The initial venture spurred Mika to get her Realtors license, and she now works for Imperio Real Estate.

But the two are also made for the spotlight. They met at Riverview High when school administrators mistakenly assigned Brian to a girls chorus class. The counselor assured Brian he would get his schedule changed, but after Brian saw Mika he wasn’t rushing to get reassigned.

They drifted apart after high school but reconnected in 2011 and eventually married in 2015. During the courtship, Brian brought her into his world of community theater, and they’ve both performed in shows at the Straz Center and the Manatee Players. They’ve also starred in some local commercials.

“Whether it’s a stage or a dirt lot, we like performing together,” Brian said.

A friend from Brian’s University of Central Florida days eventually rose to become a top television producer. She never forgot watching Brian serve as an emcee for a sports marketing company, so when he approached her about a new concept, she was willing to listen.

After a series of emails, Skype interviews, trips to New York and more interviews, the Kleinschmidts got a chance to film their sizzle reel – demolishing the home in Largo. The success of that effort landed them the show, which is produced by NorthSouth, the same company that produces Say Yes to The Dress and Impractical Jokers.

Now they will serve as hosts and producers for a show that’ll be filmed in Tampa Bay, a rarity for HGTV. It’ll showcase the area’s status as a rising destination for millennials, but it’ll also give the Kleinschmidts a chance to display the chemistry that makes them naturals in front of the camera.

You should know, I once emceed a show that featured the Kleinschmidts singing Frank Loesser songs. They definitely can carry a tune, but now we’ll get to see if they can carry a show. I wouldn’t bet against them.

That’s all I’m saying.

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