The Biggest Stars on TV Bonus #11: Chip and Joanna Gaines
They are the Jay-Z and Beyoncé of backsplashes and throw pillows. And they are everywhere. Exploding on the scene with the 2013 premiere of their HGTV series Fixer Upper, these hilarious house-flipping soulmates from Waco, Texas, won over fans with their sitcom-couple dynamics — she’s sensible, he’s sillier — and their knack for knowing what kind of rustic chic worked best for their clients.
Their appeal is as unique as their ability to inspire us all to pickle our floors and embrace antlers as wall art: Neither actors nor famous for being Insta-famous (or just plain infamous), Chip and Joanna rose above the unscripted genre’s “reality star” artifice by actually being real.
This willingness to share their personal lives and loving dynamic allowed audiences to see — and celebrate — not just how gifted they were in renovation and design but also how devoted they were to their children, and how faith, family and their 40-acre farm meant more to them than any project.
In fact, it was a desire for balance in their own home that led the parents of five to end Fixer Upper after its fifth season when the show was still a ratings champ (at one point in 2017, Fixer was the most-watched cable broadcast on TV and the only design show in the Top 50).
Now, Chip and Jo are poised to ascend to Oprah-level media dominance as they launch their Magnolia network in the summer of 2020, a 24/7 channel dedicated to what parent company Discovery Inc. calls “quality, family-friendly programming”…with plenty of backsplashes and throw pillows.
This is an abbreviated version of TV Guide Magazine’s latest cover story. For more, pick up the issue, on newsstands now.