SALT LAKE CITY — Chip and Joanna Gaines’ upcoming return to TV might be the one thing to save the Discovery network of channels, Fox News reports.
What happened: The Gaines family left HGTV earlier this year after the fifth season of “Fixer Upper.” But last month, the couple announced they will partner with Discovery Inc. to launch their own TV network, as reported by my colleague Sydney Chapman.
- “Discovery is thrilled to confirm that we are in exclusive talks with Chip and Joanna Gaines,” the company said. “The Gaineses are exceptional people, true authentic storytellers and creative visionaries who will nourish millions of people with quality, family-friendly programming accessible on a 24/7 network and across all screens. Stay tuned … working out the final details … more to come soon!”
Bigger picture: The return of the couple comes as Discovery Inc. finds itself suffering in terms of viewership. The company’s stock even dropped this week and the company’s estimated ad revenue dipped, too.
Context: Disney Communications CEO David Zaslav told TheWrap the decision for the Gaines to leave left him bewildered.1 comment on this story
- “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,” he said.
- Zaslav said he convinced the couple to come back with their own TV network.
- “I couldn’t take my eyes off the two of them,” Zaslav said, according to TheWrap. “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.”
Solution?: An expert told Fox News that Discovery is still in danger of faltering, even with the Gaines duo on deck.
He said, “the doctor is out on Discover.”
- “Chip, Joanna cannot reverse the downward trend of viewership (and) revenue sending Discover shares down,” Bibb said. “The concept is good. The talent is admittedly popular, but the demos are all wrong and getting wronger. Lifestyle content is not where new media is going.”