The star of the popular home improvement series, along with wife, Joanna, said that while the show started out in 2013 as something fun and different, by the time it ended, he was over it.
“TV was a funny thing for me,” he told Cowboys and Indians magazine. “I’m an authentic, sincere person. So, as long as things are natural and organic, I’m in my element. But the more staged something becomes, or the more required something becomes, it boxes me up, and I felt like toward the end of the Fixer Upper journey, I felt caged, trapped.”
Gaines said he and Joanna initially couldn’t pinpoint why they were unhappy. After all, he said, “You’re getting to have all this fun, right?” But they decided that the magic of TV was more the mechanics of TV. “It’s like if I put a camera in your face and said, ‘Hey, say something funny.’ Or if I put a camera in your face and said, ‘Hey, be smart.’ I just struggled with that environment.”
Gaines said the worst was “at the end of it.” He explained, “The beginning … was so fun. The first three years of Fixer Upper were some of the best years of my life. The last two years, not that we don’t look back on them fondly, but they were more of a job. So, something about breaking out of that has been liberating.”
Instead of missing it, the pair, who welcomed their fifth child in June just a few months after the show’s series finale in April 2018, “are both just kinda giddy, just like, ‘Man, what’s the future look like and what’s the next step?’ Because we’re both business people, and that’s fundamentally who we are.”
He added, “Most of our creative energy goes toward business-related concepts; and the TV part of it, it’s like, do we want to do that again? We are having so much fun enjoying our family and growing this business here in Waco. What the TV future looks like is a big, fat question mark.”
One thing is certain: TV won’t be completely without the Gaines crew. After all, they’re launching their own TV network for Discovery, HGTV’s parent company. But at this point, the couple is still determining how much of themselves to put on it. What is known is that it will be called Magnolia Network, which is named after their home decor line, and have a lifestyle focus with “unique, inspiring and family-friendly content.” It’s expected to launch in the next 12 to 18 months.
Teasing the network earlier this month, Gaines said, “there aren’t many details just yet,” but he promised, “You are going to get to see the kids grow up, you are going to see us, well maybe a six-month delay like the rest of the world, but we are excited to be back.”
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