TV power couple
Chip and Joanna Gaines have the guts to take on a Fixer Upper-free future. And fans finally get to see what it looks like.
Two years after saying goodbye to the HGTV show that became a worldwide phenomenon, the Texas TV power couple is ready to unveil their cable channel, Magnolia Network. The official launch of Magnolia Network — which will take over DIY Network — has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, they announced recently.
But in an April 26 special called Magnolia Network: A Look Ahead, the couple gave viewers a sneak peek of 10 shows coming to their network, plus a few teases about how the Gaines family will be featured, too.
"The aim of our network will be to tell good stories — stories that unite instead of divide; stories that serve to inspire and uphold beauty; stories that entertain and draw out curiosities; stories that feel like home in all the ways a home should feel," they say on the network's website.
Readers of their Magnolia Journal will recognize the same kinds of inspiring stories now coming to life as series on TV. They'll focus on people who are living life passionately and authentically, the Gaineses say. They will cover topics the couple themselves are passionate about: home design, restoration, and renovation (of course!), as well as gardening, cooking, wellness, business, family, and traditions.
"We knew we wanted this to be a very well-rounded place where you could come, you feel like it's time well spent," Joanna says in the preview. "And we wanted to make sure that families found this as a time when they could come together and enjoy programming that left them feeling encouraged and inspired."
Here's a quick look at the first 10 shows they've slated:
Home on the Road
The show follows musicians Abner and Amanda Ramirez, better known together as Johnnyswim, as they navigate life on tour with their two young children and one on the way. The Ramirezes are good friends of the Gaineses (their song "Home" was the Fixer Upper theme song) and reportedly were the first to be approached about a show on the network.
Fixer Upper favorite, carpenter Clint Harp, travels around the United States to help chronicle restoration of significant structures. In the preview, he visits the Philadelphia area to check out a 270-year-old inn where George Washington once stayed. He'll follow it as it's deconstructed, moved to Texas, and restored to operate as an inn once again.
Celebrity chef and veteran TV host Andrew Zimmern explores life, love, relationships, and family traditions around the dinner table. "Family dinners are like church and group therapy and game night combined into one," Zimmern says. He'll engage with families about heirloom recipes, cooking through the generations, and more.
Erin Benzakein, the founder of Floret Flower Farm in Washington state, embarks on a major expansion, growing her family-run, sustainable flower farm from two acres to 20. Not everything comes up roses along the way.
Justin Bane, a former Baylor University football player whose NFL dreams got dashed due to injury, helps people navigate their own wellness journeys at his 20,000-square-foot gym called The Fieldhouse in Abilene.
Inn the Works
Lindsey Kurowski and her three siblings head up a team taking on the restoration of the 1920s-era Oak Knoll Lodge in Big Bear, California — without closing it to occupants while they do the work.
The design show goes inside the work of England-based deVOL — headed by Paul O'Leary and Helen Parker — as they create and build dream kitchens for clients. "I always want somebody to walk into their kitchen and feel that it's their favorite room in the house," Parker says in the preview.
The Lost Kitchen
Maine restaurateur Erin French runs her farm-to-table eatery The Lost Kitchen with a unique reservation system: potential diners must mail a postcard and be selected by French and her all-female staff. She's not attempting to serve the best meal in the world, but "I'm trying to make you feel the best feeling in the world, and there's food involved," she says.
Taylor Calmus, an actor-comedian and DIY guy known as "Dude Dad," guides intimidated dads through kids' projects (think backyard playgrounds) so they can "bring their kids' dreams to life and become their heroes in a whole new way," he says.
Married couple Candis and Andy Meredith, who once starred in the HGTV series Old Home Love, take on their biggest project yet: converting a three-story, 20,000-square-foot abandoned schoolhouse into a home for their own family of nine.
The network also promises plenty of Gaines family footage. On the heels of her second cookbook release, Joanna will be cooking with friends. And Chip will get plenty more "demo day" action as they continue to take on big renovation projects around Waco.
"We're excited about what's next," Chip says in the preview. "And honestly we're excited to introduce you to more shows and more people that I hope you'll engage with just like you engaged with us in Fixer Upper."