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You may not know David Zaslav by name, but the man is the CEO of Discovery, a company that owns multiple TV networks, including HGTV. So, it was a big deal for him when Chip and Joanna Gaines decided they were leaving the HGTV family. The CEO recently revealed he had a moment of panic when he learned the Gaines were exiting Fixer Upper. He said:
We can't forget that in the content business we're really about stories and people. That's what [viewers] tune in for. That's why, a month before we closed, when Chip and Joanna Gaines left HGTV -- it sucked all the air out of my lungs. I couldn't take my eyes off the two of them.
It's been more than a year -- can you believe it? -- since we first learned Chip and Joanna Gaines would be ending Fixer Upper after Season 5. Season 5 came and went and suddenly HGTV had lost one of its tentpoles. It was sad for fans. It was certainly stressful for Discovery CEO David Zaslav, and he's now able to admit that to the public just a few months after HGTV head honcho Kathleen Finch bluntly stated there would be no Fixer Upper without Chip and Jojo.
Chip and Joanna Gaines are partnering with David Zaslav and Discovery to create a new network, which will follow their lives and more. Other than that details are still fairly scarce about what the new channel will entail once it finally comes together.
David Zaslav also revealed to The Wrap it was extremely important the company kept Chip and Joanna Gaines in the Discovery fold, also stating that was part of the reason he was so devastated when the Gaines' decided to fold Fixer Upper. He noted,
They're great characters, people love them, they want to watch them, they want to know how they're doing, they love their taste, they built a billion-dollar business with Magnolia, they're like one of the Top 5 tourist sites in America -- in Waco -- but they're not in our family anymore.
Details are still pretty slim related to what the new Gaines-oriented network will look like, but due to existing carriage deals, it's likely that Chip and Joanna Gaines will have to take over a network that is already in play. Discovery actually owns 19 cable channels. Some of them are popular like OWN, Food Network, HGTV, Travel Channel and Discovery, but others could potentially be swapped out to make The Fixer Upper Network, or whatever it will be called, a prominent cable channel.
We'll have to wait and see what happens as we head into 2018. For now, if you'd like to see what all is coming to TV at midseason, take a look at our full schedule.