Chip & Joanna Gaines left ‘Fixer Upper’ because of their horrible HGTV contract?

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Last month, Chip and Joanna Gaines announced they were ending their wildly popular HGTV show Fixer Upper. The current season, the fifth season, will be their last. They claimed that they were ending the show because of their family – they have young children, they live on a farm, and they have a growing empire based off the popularity of the show. Their empire will still grow and Joanna and Chip Gaines are still going to work and do sh-t, but they just won’t do the show anymore. That announcement led to a lot of theorizing about everything. Some sources claimed that the Gaines wanted more money and/or a bigger platform. That might be true?

“Fixer Upper” stars Chip and Joanna Gaines claim they are leaving their hit show because they “need to take a breath.” But Page Six TV on Monday reveals it is actually because of HGTV’s “horrible contracts” and the couple is betting on landing a bigger deal with Discovery. HGTV is owned by Scripps, which is in the process of being bought by Discovery Communications — and insiders say Chip and Joanna are betting that Discovery will make them a bigger deal once the sale is finalized.

An HGTV network insider told Page Six, “Many years ago, when Scripps, which also owns Food Network, signed Rachael Ray, they didn’t think about Rachael starting a magazine, launching product lines, getting endorsement deals and her books selling millions of copies. And so while Food Network turned Rachael Ray into a star, she made tens of millions and Scripps got none of it. After Rachael, they made sure no talent deal would ever put them in that situation again. Since the Gaineses were relatively unknown when they started, they signed the general Scripps talent contract.” The source added, “Scripps talent contracts are very restrictive. The talent can’t do anything without their approval — any appearance, any publicity, any endorsement, any product — you have to ask them for permission. It is awful. And on top of that, Scripps takes a big percentage of everything you make — books, appearances, endorsements, products. If you make money, they take most of the money.”

The source added, “As Chip and Joanna grew more famous and popular over the years, the HGTV conceded to a few changes to their contract — like not taking a percentage of their Target collection — but they still wanted the Gaineses to shoot long days, promote the show and just work their butts off. So they are using this end of their contract as a total renegotiation to get the deal they really want: more money, less work, more control. The timing of Discovery buying Scripps worked well in their favor. With Discovery hopefully now about to own Scripps, they are rolling the dice thinking the new owners will come running after them and give them the deal they really want.”

Discovery’s deal to buy Scripps is still being vetted by the FTC, and Discovery execs can’t approach any Scripps talent until at least early next year. But a TV insider said, “Discovery will surely go after Chip and Joanna, once the deal is cleared, because of their huge popularity. Discovery deals are traditionally much more generous to the talent, and the network can turn them into international stars, like Discovery did with ‘Cake Boss.’”

A rep for HGTV said in a statement, “Of course, this inflammatory information is inaccurate. Chip and Joanna have already shared with their fans why they made their decision and we support them.”

[From Page Six]

This is VERY interesting, isn’t it? I think the heart of it is probably true, and if the source is right about the contract the Gaines’ signed, that’s reason enough to want to get out of the contract full-stop. Whether or not the Gaines’ get another contract with Discovery is beside the point – they are in-demand and they’ll build another show somewhere, I’m absolutely positive. It just won’t be Fixer Upper on HGTV. I had no idea the HGTV contract was so restrictive… huh. Well, that explains a lot.

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19 Responses to “Chip & Joanna Gaines left ‘Fixer Upper’ because of their horrible HGTV contract?”

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  1. Alexandria says:

    I’ll miss them.

    Nah just joking. Chip was annoying. Next!

  2. Alleycat says:

    They were so cheesy, and I hated the little snippets about their kids. I’m heartless and I don’t want to watch personal stuff while watching my decorative shows. I’m sure HGTV will find another couple that can do the same type of work and be just as corny.

    • Hunter says:

      Nah, that doesn’t make you heartless. I feel similarly. The show is okay, I like seeing the dramatic transformations, although I’m a little bored with her style. I enjoy when she does something more modern, like the houseboat or a couple other projects she’s done that’s a welcome departure from the grey farmhouse theme. But I cringe when she’s got her kids handling the decor items, or when the whole flow of the show is suddenly punctuated by a segment on her kids. I’m like, “Come on! Let’s move it along!” 😄

  3. HH says:

    I actually think it’s good for them to end on a high note. I think they’re great, but their show itself isn’t really progressing, her design aesthetic—while beautiful—is one-note and it’s been quite a few seasons.

  4. Jennyjenjenjenjenn says:

    I went to Baylor. Lived in Waco for a while and have a lot of friends who have been on the show and many friends who work for Chip and Jo. When the news dropped this was last season I saw so many cryptic FB posts by people “in the loop” saying “big” “exciting” things are in the works. So something is brewing. They aren’t going away anytime soon.

  5. CynicalAnn says:

    Yes-I’m sure there’s something else. And I’m sure it’s less work/more money. I don’t blame them a bit. Why not capitalize on their success?

  6. Moodyflorals says:

    It’s Chip and Jo, they’re incredibly Type A. My guess is they’ll be picked up by one of of the main broadcast networks like ABC, or maybe they’re launching their own production company (I believe Property Brothers have their own production company and do their own shows). Hell, I wouldn’t be surprised if these two launched their own TV network.

  7. JA says:

    Sorry, not sorry, I like them and their show and I don’t care about some of Jos redundant design choices, I LIKE EM! Will tune in to the next show. They aren’t forcing anything down our throats and just because they are religious isn’t reason enough for me to get out a pitchfork. Good on them…. if you had the opportunity to make a lot of money but couldn’t because of a contract, would you stay? Of course not. Chase that cheddar

  8. lucy2 says:

    If they have a crappy contract and a popular product, I don’t blame them for letting it end and looking forward to something better.

  9. Dizzie says:

    Their Target collection dropped— there is nothing I’d want. It’s black but not Chic, winter but not warm, and imo just depressing and faux country. Anxious to read other takes on it.

  10. leskat says:

    I don’t fault them in the least for wanting to keep what they make for themselves. They’ve found a home with the minivan majority and those are the people who will spend the most to put in shiplap, giant clocks and $100 throw pillows so why split it with a production company? I’m not such a fan of Jo’s aesthetic or Chip’s… whatever it is, but I can see how it’s crazy popular and something a lot of people aspire to.

  11. Pandy says:

    Who are these people??? Not famous enough to care.

  12. Catwoman says:

    With all their money one would think Chip could get himself a decent haircut. It looks like goat chewed on it while he was asleep. Or is the scruffy look part of his “aesthetic”?

  13. IdenticalOskar says:

    I worked for both Discovery and Scripps in Legal for a specific network. Scripps is more conservative all-around. I absolutely think that Scripps contracts may leave a lot to be desired. Scripps is based in Knoxville, TN and their company culture has always been more corporate conservative. They are concerned with their standard ratings base like any network, but also draw people interested in home improvement and cooking specifically. Think about the demographic that will enjoy The Pioneer Woman midday during the week and you’ll see what I’m getting at.

    I’m expressing my (informed) opinion, of course. Without really being able to say more, read up on Anthony Bourdain if you want more detail about Scripps contracting. I’ve been out of the insanity that is working in entertainment for awhile so I didn’t know about the merger. My transition from Discovery to Scripps was because of another merger. I was drinking something when I read the merger thing and completely snorted it.

  14. Kate Kack says:

    They are HOMOPHOBES! Why is NOONE talking about this??! It is disgusting and I cannot for the life of me figure out why noone discusses it.