Their love for each other is palpable, and that's part of what has made the Gaines so successful. (Illustration by Julianna Renk, University of California, Berkeley)
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Everyone’s favorite renovating couple is back.

“Fixer Upper” swept the nation in 2013, and it was all thanks to the power couple behind every episode, Chip and Joanna Gaines. The fifth and final season of “Fixer Upper” ended in 2018, but the Gaines have moved beyond the show that brought them their massive fame, and now they’ve announced their own network.

Set to premiere in summer 2020, the Gaines will partner with Discovery and replace the DIY Network, and, of course, they’ll have their own show.

“The difference moving forward is Jo and I are going to be able to tell more of our life stories,” Chip told USA Today.

The Gaines will be able to tailor their network as they envision, as chief creative offers who also hold a stake in the upcoming channel. If you’ve ever seen an episode of “Fixer Upper,” you can expect more of Chip’s lovable goofiness balanced by his wife Jo’s more practical attitude and signature style-sharp talents.

Instead of just focusing on revamping homes, the network will include stories centered around family, food, garden and more. It’s not an attempted replica of “Fixer Upper,” the HGTV series that landed them fame, but something much more: Viewers will be able to see their favorite renovating couple as part of a community of stories waiting to be told.

It’s not too surprising that the Gaines have announced plans to start their own network. To see their steady upward trajectory, all you have to do is look at their past successes. The year 2013 launched the pilot episode of “Fixer Upper,” back when Chip and Joanna were local unknowns in the city of Waco, Texas. But that would soon change. Audiences quickly fell in love with the couple’s on-screen chemistry — no doubt effortlessly genuine because of their real-life marriage — and entertaining banter as they helped clients pick a home to remodel.

Joanna’s distinct eye for home design with simple yet stunning results appealed to the masses. And who can forget the appearances of the reality stars’ four adorable kids?

Television right now is in a golden era of home improvement shows, with popular titles like “Property Brothers,” “Rehab Addict” and “Love It or List It,” but it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the Gaines are in a renovating league of their own. The heart of the show isn’t the aesthetically pleasing home designs planned by Jo and remodeled by Chip and the crew, but the familial atmosphere that they exude through the screen.

“They have that unique authenticity, and there just aren’t that many of them,” Discovery Inc. CEO David Zaslav says. In fact, the Gaines’ sustained popularity is so unique that Zaslav personally made the case for the couple to star in the Discovery network at their home in Waco, Texas.

Each episode has a runtime of 43 minutes, and the series has proven to have an addictive quality throughout its run. By the time the show ended after five seasons, audiences couldn’t help but forgive the couple for the rather early departure from the show because of the announcement of a fifth baby on the way. But the end of “Fixer Upper” didn’t signal the end of the Gaines family, all thanks to their business savvy.

It’s interesting to see the massive impact the Gaines family has had on Waco from a local perspective. Even before their rise to fame, Chip and Jo had ties to the city, both having graduated from my university, Baylor. The opening of the boutique Magnolia Market in 2003 would later grow into a wildly successful business after the debut of “Fixer Upper,” which is based in Waco. And if you’re not a Wacoan, let me tell you: Magnolia is a major tourist attraction.

Every time I drive downtown toward the Magnolia shopping complex, I always see a long line of people (most likely from out of town) littering the outside of Silos Baking Co., a hugely popular store that sells baked goods like cupcakes and biscuits.

The Magnolia store itself sells — you guessed it — home decor and other miscellaneous products to add that extra “Fixer Upper” touch to your home. There’s also Magnolia Seed and Supply, a garden shop that focuses on delightfully renovating your backyard with seasonal plants. Waco has benefited immensely from the Gaines family’s success in terms of employment, as well as landing Waco on the tourist map.

Since the premiere of “Fixer Upper,” the popularity of the Gaines family only seems to have increased, and it continued to augment long after the show ended. In fact, it’s pretty much impossible for anyone to stop them at this point. Both Chip and Joanna have published several best-selling books, including “Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff” and “Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave,” respectively.

There’s also the quarterly lifestyle publication The Magnolia Journal, and did I mention that J.Lo herself is recruiting the couple to renovate her Malibu home?

I’m not sure what else the future has in store for the Gaines family, but I’m certain the general public (and television networks) will continue to fixate on Waco’s favorite home renovators — as long as homes are in need of some sprucing up.


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