Chip and Joanna Gaines on the long-awaited debut of Magnolia Network

Chip and Joanna Gaines on the long-awaited debut of Magnolia Network

The partnership between Chip and Joanna Gaines – made famous for transforming Fixer Upper homes in their Waco, Texas, home – and Discovery replaces the tiny DIY Network in January. But Thursday, the network launches on the Discovery+ streaming service – and a dedicated Magnolia app – with more than 150 hours of unscripted programming covering home, design, food, gardening and other topics.

Magnolia will also feature workshops and a handful of other lifestyle programs, including Julia Child’s PBS classic The French Chef. For Discovery+ subscribers ($4.99 a month), the Magnolia app is free.

Joanna’s cooking show, Magnolia Table, premieres its third season there Thursday. She and Chip will also debut a new version of Fixer Upper, the home renovation series that vaulted them to fame, and appear in other programs, says the network’s president, Allison Page. The couple will be featured in First Time Fixer, where novice home renovators try their hand at makeovers, and other projects that will be announced soon.

We’re so excited! It’s finally here, Chip says of the network, first announced during a 2018 appearance on The Tonight Show. In April 2019, the couple told USA TODAY the channel would arrive in summer 2020. But the global pandemic forced a hiatus that resulted in a much fuller and much more robust lineup, Chip says. And plans pivoted (along with the rest of the media industry) to prioritize streaming over cable.

As sad as we are collectively for the year that we’ve all experienced together, we’re thankful in a lot of ways that it gave us a little time out, he says. It felt like there was a little pause that gave us the ability to really fill in lots of blanks, and we just could not be more excited about the talent and the production companies that have poured their hearts and souls into so many of these shows and just how proud we are.

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The Magnolia lineup includes personalities the Gaineses knew or sought out. A lot of them we had to talk into being on TV, Joanna says. They’re like, ‘I don’t have time for that.’

Restoration Road with Clint Harp: Fans of Fixer Upper will recognize Harp, a carpenter who worked with the duo to achieve their design dreams. For Restoration Road, Harp travels across the U.S. to renovate historical structures.
Super Dad: Dad and crafter Taylor Calmus will help fathers make their children’s playful backyard visions come to life.
Homegrown: Jamila Norman, a farmer living in Atlanta, assists families who want to turn their backyards into farms.
Zoë Bakes: Pastry chef Zoë François shares tips with viewers for making impressive and tasty desserts in their own kitchens.
Ranch to Table: A series hosted by cattle rancher, Elizabeth Poett, who enjoys whipping up regional cuisine that features foods from her ranch.

All five seasons of the Gaineses’ Fixer Upper, which ended its run in April 2018, are available on Discovery+ and the Magnolia app. New episodes of the updated Fixer Upper: Welcome Home, begin streaming Thursday.

Joanna says when the couple decided to revive the series, they needed to adjust their filming schedule around commitments to family, building their businesses and the network. The couple have created an experience for fans in Waco with Magnolia Market at the Silos (which houses a bakery), a restaurant and vacation rentals. They also run a construction business, a real estate company, a quarterly magazine and online shop where home goods and furniture can be purchased.

Highlighting one change, she says they’re eliminating the Fixer Upper segment in which homebuyers look at houses. To launch, we were like, ‘We’ve got to do this quicker.’ We had to find people that had already purchased a house instead of going through that whole thing of, Let’s find you a house.’

It feels a little different than the past, but we came out alive, she adds. We filmed our last reveal (in late June) and had a ball doing it.

But don’t worry, Chip’s antics continue: I can’t ever get him to stop jacking around on camera, Joanna says of her husband of 15 years. He’s just always messing around, and I just want to be done. I’m like, ‘I think we’ve shot the scene,’ and Chip keeps doing some stuff.

I’m somewhat playful in real life, somewhat just generally normally playful, Chip says, beating around the bush. Joanna interrupts, painting a succinct picture: “He’s like a 5 year old.”

When you point a camera at me and you say, ‘Action,’ or whatever the phrase is that they say to get you in motion, I think that the camera operator is like an old college buddy daring me to do the most radical things imaginable, and I don’t even know why, Chip says. The camera operator keeps looking. He’s like, ‘Hey, Chip, I’m not daring you to do that at all. You could totally be normal and just hang the drywall like a normal human,’ And I’m like, ‘Quit daring me to jump through it! Quit it!’ And he’s like, ‘Who are you talking to?’

The Gaineses aren’t Magnolia’s only home-renovating couple. Home Work follows Utah-based Candis and Andy Meredith as they make over spaces for their clients and convert a 20,000-square-foot school, constructed in 1907, into a home for their family of nine. Candis remembered thinking when Joanna followed them on social media that it was an accident. Direct messages back and forth strengthened the relationship.

They’re amazing, Candis said of the pair. I remember our first conversation with Chip, he said the words, ‘I want you to tell your story authentically. I want to see everything about that. I don’t care if it feels boring or slow,’ he said. ‘Just tell that story as authentically as you can, and die on that hill.’

And that’s what we’ve done, she continued. I don’t think it’s boring or slow. It’s obviously very chaotic, very exciting, but it just felt like they really understood what we were trying to put out there because that’s also what they’re trying to put in the world – just beauty and beautiful things.

Joanna says Magnolia slates of stars shares a willingness to be daring.

I think as humans, we all want to watch people take the risk, she says. You want to cheer them on. You want to see them make it. You experience the ups and downs with them by watching it, and I think there’s such a humanness to that.

She says the couple avoided forcing drama. We’re not like, ‘Hey, make sure that three times in each episode there’s a teaser thing that gets the audience to come back and watch, she says. There’s none of that. It’s truly their authentic story that we don’t want to mess with. When you see that similar thread, it’s just that message of hope and inspiration that I truly believe the world needs to hear right now.

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