The One Moment That Saved The Entire Fixer Upper Series

"Fixer Upper" made household names out of Chip and Joanna Gaines while simultaneously helping to put home renovation network HGTV on the map. 

The hit show, which launched in 2013, naturally changed the couple's lives forever, too. As Joanna revealed in an interview with Parade, "Where we started in 2013, the experience we've had, the people we've got to meet along the way, a lot of these things kind of opened our eyes to just a bigger, beautiful world."

She continued, "Now I think I just I look up and just think we've grown in a way where just the world, we really see it as the world is a beautiful place and there's so many stories that need to be told no matter how different they are. They're beautiful stories." 

They're the first to admit they had no idea what they were getting into when "Fixer Upper" began, with Joanna describing them as "two naïve kids." Now, they're entrepreneurs in their own right.

In fact, per Variety, the couple ultimately said goodbye to HGTV and launched their own network, Magnolia, realizing their aspirations went beyond what they could achieve there. It's clear Chip and Joanna are exactly where they need to be now, but, looking back at how the couple's journey began, everything could've been over before it even started — if not for this moment.

Chip and Joanna Gaines' sweet relationship sold the show for them

It might seem inconceivable nowadays, but "Fixer Upper" almost didn't become a world-conquering juggernaut. Chip and Joanna Gaines were pretty unassuming before the fame, and, when they first tried out for HGTV, the lovable couple didn't get off to the best start. 

People reports that, during a "How We Got To Here" episode of the show, the Gaines looked back at where it all began and the irresistible dynamic that ultimately got "Fixer Upper" over the line. In the footage, Chip impulsively buys a houseboat for the family to live in while their home is being renovated, but Joanna is less than impressed with the idea.

The Gaines' rapport and witty back and forth made them a hit with HGTV. The network obviously saw the couple's natural spark as they attempted to deal with their "shipwrecked" new home. "Chip is like that kid, like the five-year-old kid that's trying to make his mom breakfast and there's milk everywhere," Joanna quipped. "Good heart, big mistake."

Watching the couple figure out such a ridiculous situation sold the network on them having their own show, rather than choosing someone else, eventually leading to one of the highest-rated series in HGTV history. As The Hollywood Reporter notes, Chip and Joanna built off that success to launch their own empire, so, clearly, HGTV was right to take a chance on them.

Magnolia Network gives the couple the space to fully be themselves

In an interview with Variety, Chip and Joanna Gaines made it clear that, despite their demonstrable success, the couple isn't willing to just slap the Magnolia brand on anything. "We say 'no' a lot more than we say "yes,'" Joanna confirmed, with Chip elaborating on how tough it can sometimes be to juggle work, home life, and their relationship. 

"For Jo and I, it's fascinating to say 'no' to something that really is hard to say 'no' to in some cases, but then we see the fruit either in our marriage or in our family, our community here in Waco, Texas," he explained. "I mean, these things are not taglines to us. This is sincerely just what we are."

Aside from taking starring roles themselves, the Gaines also curate a whole slew of content for their network. As Chip acknowledged to EW, when the idea of creating it was initially broached, they were unsure whether it was the right call since "everybody was pawing at us for more television." The "Fixer Upper" stars were concerned about committing too much to something and inevitably losing out elsewhere.

Thankfully, Discovery CEO David Zazlav treated them as fellow business people who could work with the company to create something special. As the couple told Oprah Winfrey during an interview (via Deadline), fame caused them to lose their purpose. Now that they're in the driving seat, they've finally got it back.

The Gaines walked away from Fixer Upper at the height of its popularity

Although it almost didn't happen, "Fixer Upper" ran for five successful seasons. Fans were understandably shocked when Chip and Joanna Gaines left HGTV in 2017. 

In a blog post, they expressed a desire to spend more time with their family, but, given how many projects they were juggling at the time — and the fact that Joanna learned she was pregnant with their fifth child just a short while later — the Gaines couldn't justify doing the show anymore. 

Still, it was an undeniably risky decision, as Chip himself acknowledged to Success magazine. In fact, the reality star called it "almost irrational-sounding" since "Fixer Upper" was "at the height of its popularity." 

As Chip explained of their decision-making process, "Jo and I just realized in our hearts that as much as we love 'Fixer Upper,' as much as we love the honor that we have felt with this show basically introducing us to the country, if not the world, we want to make sure that we're here for our family during really crucial, pivotal points in its journey." 

Moreover, their relationship had to remain a priority, too. "Fixer Upper" put unnecessary stress on the Gaines' marriage. As Chip asserted, "We don't want to run so hard after some dream or some goal only to find out that we've neglected the thing that means the very most to us, which is our marriage and our relationship."

Chip and Joanna resurrected the beloved show on Magnolia Network

As Joanna Gaines conceded in an interview with People, "The day we wrapped our final episode of ​'Fixer Upper,'​ we really believed it was a chapter closed." 

Thankfully, for us at least, it wasn't actually the end. The Gaines brought the beloved show back on Magnolia Network, with Joanna describing it as "'Fixer' 2.0." It had been a little while since the home renovation stars appeared on camera together, so it took some time to get back into the swing of things, but it felt right. As Joanna explained, they "knew we weren't done dreaming about ways to make old things new again." 

The big difference this time around, though, is that their children don't appear onscreen unless they want. "If they volunteer to be a part, we are more than happy, but we never want to just force it for a scene. They can make that choice. We'll see as much of the kids as they want to give us," Joanna clarified. 

As the Gaines shared with The Hollywood Reporter, the main issue with the original incarnation of "Fixer Upper" was that it became too demanding, eclipsing everything else in their lives. As Joanna put it, "The show ended up where we had to constantly be feeding it."

"Fixer Upper: Welcome Home" debuted in 2021, and, despite their fears of being out of practice, it seemed Chip and Joanna were exactly where they needed to be.