Why Chip and Joanna Gaines Turned Down Netflix

Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines are currently preparing to launch their very own network, Magnolia Network, on Discovery+ this month, which will feature both Chip and Joanna as well as a number of other entrepreneurs in design, food, home and garden. The network is part of a deal orchestrated by Discovery Inc. CEO David Zaslav, who won the couple's allegiance after their highly publicized departure from their HGTV show, Fixer Upper, which they announced in 2017.

Zaslav was one of the numerous executives attempting to make a deal with Chip and Joanna, but he was the only one to offer an entire network as opposed to a single show or slate of programming. After Fixer Upper wrapped its fifth and final season, Chip and Joanna took a year off, welcoming their fifth child, Crew, and growing their Magnolia brand. They began discussions in summer 2018 and met with networks including Apple TV+, A+E Networks and High Noon parent company ITV America, and the couple's final choice was between Netflix and Discovery.

Chip and Joanna ended Fixer Upper because they weren't comfortable being television stars, and one of the issues with the Netflix deal was that the couple didn't feel ready to get back on camera. "The other suitors would call back — like it was a negotiation tactic," Chip said. "They were like, 'Oh, it has to be more money.' David pivoted." Zaslav offered the Gaineses a channel for them to make over, and according to sources, a 30 percent to 40 percent ownership stake.

"There was a lot of head-scratching, because they were not going to commit to being on camera," said former HGTV president Allison Page, who now runs Magnolia's TV outfit. "Autonomy is important to them, and David gets that." While Chip and Joanna initially weren't excited about the idea of getting back on camera, both now front their own Magnolia Network shows — Joanna has wrapped three seasons of her cooking show, Magnolia Table, and Chip is fronting a series about his quest to train for a marathon — and they filmed a nine-episode reboot of Fixer Upper, titled Welcome Home.

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"TV shows impact the culture, but Chip and Jo impact people's lives," Zaslav said. "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."