Joanna Gaines and Chip Gaines shot to fame with their HGTV show, Fixer Upper, which saw them transform homes in their town of Waco, Texas. The couple announced in 2017 that they had decided to leave the show after five seasons, and Joanna reflected on their decision in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Each season, the couple had to remodel as many as 17 houses, and with four kids at the time (now five), and their growing Magnolia brand, the duo decided that their HGTV show was the thing that they wanted to take off their plates. "We realized we didn't necessarily love that side of the camera, and that part became a full-time job," Joanna explained. "We've got a big family. We've got a business. The show ended up where we had to constantly be feeding it."
"It wasn't a question of how to hold on to them," said then-HGTV president Allison Page. "They were just gone." Joanna and Chip pointed out that being television stars was never their goal. "Jo and I weren't looking to be on TV," Chip said. "TV found us."
After the show's ending was originally announced, Chip appeared on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon and shared that having cameras around ultimately made it more difficult for the couple to be themselves. "TV was a funny thing for me. I'm an authentic, sincere person," he said. "So, as long as things are natural and organic, I'm in my element. But the more staged something becomes, or the more required something becomes, it boxes me up, and I felt like toward the end of the Fixer Upper journey, I felt caged, trapped."
"Jo and I couldn't figure it out," he added. "I mean, why? You're getting to have all this fun, right? But it's like if I put a camera in your face and said, 'Hey, say something funny.' Or if I put a camera in your face and said, 'Hey, be smart.' I just struggled with that environment. Especially at the end of it."
Three years after Fixer Upper concluded, Joanna and Chip are launching their very own television network, Magnolia Network, on Discovery+ this month. Magnolia Network features a number of new shows starring entrepreneurs in design, food, home and garden, as well as a reboot of Fixer Upper.
"TV shows impact the culture, but Chip and Jo impact people's lives," Discovery Inc. CEO David Zaslav told THR. "They provide something very rare in America today: a sunshiny hopefulness that you can make things with your own two hands and your life will be better for it."