Chip and Joanna Gaines say they 'wrestled' with the decision to walk away from 'Fixer Upper'

Raechal Shewfelt
Editor, Yahoo Entertainment

Chip Gaines says he and wife Joanna were terrified of what was going to happen after they left their phenomenally popular HGTV show, Fixer Upper.

“That wasn’t an easy decision,” Gaines said in a preview of the couple’s interview on Sunday Today With Willie Geist. “We wrestled with some counselors, for lack of a better term, that sort of helped us articulate, ‘Do we wanna do this or not?’ And I would say the overwhelming majority of those people said that when you turn that television show off, all of this other stuff will come crumbling down.”

After their show debuted in 2013, the Gaineses built an empire of books and products. They left the show in 2018, despite the naysayers, and have continued to maintain their brand ever since. They’re also preparing to launch their own network next year, so this is Oprah-level stuff.

The takeaway from the situation was clear for Gaines.

“For that, ironic and complete opposite reality to have occurred is a pretty powerful testimony to just be yourself, man,” he said. “Being yourself is more powerful than whatever it is that everybody’s telling you you have to do or you’re supposed to do, ya know?”


Gaines has said before that the final years of the couple’s show were tough.

“TV was a funny thing for me,” he told Cowboys and Indians magazine in December. “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.”

The couples’ interview on Sunday Today With Willie Geist airs at 8 a.m. ET/PT Sunday.

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