Finally, an answer to the question that plagued me for more than a year: what was going on with Chip and Joanna Gaines? Chip and Joanna Gaines were the host/renovators of HGTV’s Fixer Upper, one of the most wildly popular shows in the history of HGTV. Chip and Joanna were on top of the world when they suddenly announced that they were quitting Fixer Upper last year. Reportedly, HGTV was throwing money at them, offering them any kind of deal to come back, but they said no, no, no. Then we learned that Joanna was pregnant – she gave birth to baby Crew this past June – and that seemed to answer some questions. It looked like Chip and Joanna really were just focusing on their family. Except no, they just got a much better deal.
Chip and Joanna Gaines are expanding their empire and making a return to television! During an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Friday, the Fixer Upper stars announced they are getting their own TV network.
“We signed a non-disclosure and it said quote unquote you can tell your mother but that’s it,” Chip joked after Fallon asked if the couple would ever return to TV. “So mom, I just wanted to make a quick announcement, we are coming back to television. You are going to get to see the kids grow up, you are going to see us, well maybe a six-month delay like the rest of the world, but we are excited to be back.”
Magnolia spokesman John Marsicano also confirmed the news in an exclusive statement to PEOPLE: “We’re excited to share that we are currently in the early stages of talking with Discovery about a lifestyle-focused media network for Magnolia. The details surrounding this opportunity remain a work in progress, but together, our hope is to build a different kind of platform for unique, inspiring and family-friendly content.”
In partnership with Discovery Inc., which also owns HGTV, the new network will be the latest addition to Chip and Joanna’s massive list of successful businesses including their lifestyle magazine The Magnolia Journal (which is published by Meredith, PEOPLE’s parent company), the new Magnolia Table restaurant and their product line at Target, as well as the ever-expanding Magnolia Market at the Silos, which has turned Waco, Texas, into a tourist destination.
This was what I was expecting to hear months ago. My guess is that Chip and Joanna’s original HGTV contract really was kind of crappy, and they just wanted to let the contract lapse, then they played hardball with Discovery to get their own network. And honestly, I don’t hate it. They know their worth, and they truly are wildly popular and beloved by such a wide swath of demographics. The church crowd loves them because they’re super-churchy. Non-churchy people like them because they’re not TOO churchy. They make extremely watchable entertainment which is clean and family-friendly. And even though the shiplap and white kitchens are annoying, they do good work. Hm. Would you watch the Gaines Network? I would watch it at the gym, the same way I watch Fixer Upper marathons at the gym.
Photos courtesy of Getty.