I enjoyed the fact that so many people had opinions about Chip and Joanna Gaines, aka the couple from Fixer Upper. The Gaineses announced that the current season of Fixer Upper, the fifth season, will be their last. They cited their desire to focus on their family as the reason for ending the show. Fixer Upper had become HGTV’s most valuable and most popular property. It was a combination of family-friendly viewing (the Gaineses are churchy but not preachy) with pleasant designs and a winning reno/decorating formula. Chip and Joanna are immensely likeable on-screen, which doesn’t sound like a big deal until you realize that HGTV has a bunch of shows featuring extremely dysfunctional (or dysfunctional-seeming) married couples. There’s one show – and I won’t name names – where the husband seems like a sexual predator, hand to God, like someone who murders hookers in his spare time. So with Chip and Joanna leaving HGTV, what happens to HGTV now?
After five successful seasons, one of HGTV’s most watched shows, “Fixer Upper,” is coming to an end. Chip and Joanna Gaines announced the news on Tuesday, shocking some fans of the show. While the Gaines promised they would continue renovating homes in Waco, Texas, the future for HGTV is less clear.
“The end of ‘Fixer Upper’ is a very big deal for the network. HGTV is a channel that depends on blockbuster, talent-driven shows to drive audience for their lesser content, new content, magazine, furniture line and overall brand,” Rebecca Lavoie, host of the upcoming podcast “HGTV & Me,” told Fox News. “Before ‘Fixer Upper,’ ‘Property Brothers’ was probably the channel’s most valuable property, which is why the brothers are at the center of several spin-offs, but even that show has probably seen its peak, while ‘Fixer Upper’ is arguably very much on the upswing and there are no other shows that touch it in terms of quality, charm, and sheer watchability.”
The last season of the show garnered over 3.19 million same day viewers according to Deadline.com, and was HGTV’s highest rated program followed by “Flip or Flop,” leaving a gaping hole in the network’s programming. As for the Gaines, some predict they will go to a larger network and possibly try their hand at a less niche program, like a talk show.
“Joanna and Chip Gaines have outgrown their original show. A lot has changed since ‘Fixer Upper’ first premiered in 2013. They’re now instantly-recognizable celebrities, immensely likeable, and a trusted brand name in home repair and interior design,” explained branding expert Scott Pinkser. “Just like Rachael Ray eventually outgrew the Food Network, the Gaineses are clearly ready for a platform that’s more visible than HGTV. In fact, the Rachael Ray business model of TV talk-shows, magazines, endorsements and product lines might make a lot of sense.”
Some of you suggested that Chip and Joanna would move to another network, but I still don’t know. We’ll see. Of course, it’s more than possible that this was a money issue, but I sort of believe that HGTV would have given them carte blanche to ensure that they keep making Fixer Upper. Maybe another network was offering more money, but for that to happen, wouldn’t it actually be a network, like CBS or NBC or ABC? Would people still like Fixer Upper if it was on ABC? I don’t know. As for the hole in HGTV’s programming… well, I just assume that they’ll find other house-flippers or Southern-rustic decorators to build a show around. There are plenty! And please, HGTV executives, do a screen test with the men to make sure they don’t come across as super-predatory, hm?
Photos courtesy of Getty.