Home remodeling superstars Chip and Joanna Gaines are in talks with Discovery to launch a linear channel and streaming service focused on their formidable Magnolia brand of home and lifestyle programming and products.
Discovery is planning to relaunch one of its 12 existing U.S. channels as the Gaines’ outlet, which will also have a companion streaming service. Discovery is understood to be considering a makeover of either Great American Country or DIY. Both of those channels reach about 60 million homes.
Based in Waco, Texas, the Gaines became stars during their 2014-2017 run on HGTV’s “Fixer Upper.” The pair ended the show at the end of 2017 in part because they were preparing to welcome their fifth child, son Crew, who was born in July.
“We’re excited to share we are in the early stages of talking with Discovery about a lifestyle focused media network for Magnolia,” said Magnolia spokesman John Marsicano. “The details surrounding this opportunity remain a work in progress but together our hope is to build a different kind of platform for unique inspiring and family-friendly content.”
Chip Gaines hinted at the deal coming together during the couple’s appearance on Friday’s edition of “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.” Discovery would not comment on specifics but confirmed the talks are in progress. The deal is envisioned as being similar to the partnership Discovery has with Oprah Winfrey on OWN. The Gaines would have significant equity in the linear and streaming platforms.
“Discovery is thrilled to confirm that we are in exclusive talks with Chip and Joanna Gaines,” Discovery said in a statement. “The Gaines’ are exceptional people, true authentic storytellers and creative visionaries who will nourish millions of people with quality, family-friendly programming accessible on a 24/7 network and across all screens.”
The Gaines have built Magnolia into a bustling business on the back of their success on HGTV. Discovery acquired HGTV parent company Scripps Networks Interactive earlier this year. The partnership with the couple is a natural fit for Discovery with its focus on lifestyle and how-to programming. With the Scripps acquisition, Discovery has an enormous footprint in the lifestyle, food, design and how-to TV arena.
The Gaines run several Magnolia-branded businesses out of their Waco home base, including a furniture and decor shop and restaurant. The business took off once “Fixer Upper” premiered.
Discovery has long been active in remaking under-performing channels in its U.S. group. There’s no question the company is facing pressure to add more star power and pizzazz to some channels at a time when distributors are increasingly looking to offer smaller channel packages with must-have programming.