Since they announced the end of the HGTV smash hit Fixer Upper in September, Chip and Joanna Gaines have held fast to their narrative that the end of their show was about spending more time with their four kids and each other.
"Our plan is to take this time to shore up and strengthen the spots that are weak, rest the places that are tired and give lots of love and attention to both our family and our businesses," they shared at the time.
But a source revealed to Vanity Fair that their reasoning might be a bit more shrewd than that.
According to the source, which the publication said does business with HGTV parent company Scripps Networks, Chip and Joanna have met with at least one outlet to pitch another show.
The two allegedly were having problems with HGTV prior to announcing the end of their series centered around the Gaines' desire to feature products from their Magnolia Market line on the show.
“They kept insisting on showing things with the Magnolia label, even though Scripps does not have a partnership with them on that stuff,” the source said. “This isn’t how business is done with Scripps. You have to come to some arrangement if you want to show your products on your HGTV show.”
Since the end of Fixer Upper was announced, the magazine reports that the Gaineses have met with a few "potential outlets" about a new show.
The couple does still have a contract with Scripps, so they are likely not able to do another home improvement show at the moment, but the source speculated that they might be pitching something like a talk show or one-off special.
Brock Murphy, the director of public relations for Magnolia Market, told Vanity Fair in an e-mail that “Chip and Jo’s decision to leave Fixer Upper is truly just based on their wanting to catch their breath for a minute—to rest, refresh, and spend even more time with their family and growing businesses. It is not based on anything related to Discovery-Scripps, or anything else that has been falsely reported.”
The Gaines’ talent agent, Bill Stankey, did not reply to the magazine's requests for comment.