The beloved HGTV stars are sharing a first look at their new Magnolia Network in a four-hour event this Sunday

By Mackenzie Schmidt
April 24, 2020 06:26 PM
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Chip and Joanna Gaines are coming back to TV this Sunday — and PEOPLE has a first look at their four-hour special!

The Fixer Upper alums are preparing to launch their own TV channel, Magnolia Network, and giving fans a serious sneak peek of what to expect in Magnolia Presents: A Look Back & A Look Ahead,” airing April 26 at 5 p.m. The preview marks the first time the couple have returned to TV since saying farewell to their beloved show in 2018.

In addition to sampling a slate of new original series — they’ve announced 10 so far — the couple will share a personal look at what they, their five kids — Drake, 15, Ella Rose, 13, Duke, 11, Emmie Kay, 10, and Crew, 1 — and countless animals have been up to on their 40-acre Waco farm since exiting the small screen.

The special promises never-before-seen footage, untold stories from the set of Fixer Upper, and candid commentary from Chip and Jo.

In the exclusive clip above, the Gaineses can be seen tending to some very furry cows, digging into design projects and meeting up with familiar faces, like Fixer Upper woodworker Clint Harp, who is back to creating one-of-a-kind furniture pieces for Joanna.

HGTV

The catch-up also documents Chip’s journey training for his first marathon with the help of competitive racer Gabrielle “Gabe” Grunewald, who founded the foundation Brave Like Gabe while battling a rare form of cancer and inspired Chip’s run. Grunewald died in June 2019 at age 32.

“Not only was she an inspiration to Chip, but Chip was an inspiration to her,” Joanna says in the clip.

HGTV

If any Fixer Upper fans were worried the contractor has mellowed out in his time out of the spotlight, the last piece of the preview above should put their fears to rest. Taking in a half-completed construction site, Chip asks his wife to make an Instagram Story of him posing dramatically and running football drills before taking a tumble. He pops back up unharmed of course.

The special will reach about 75 million households, a massive potential audience, even for the HGTV record breakers. Fixer Upper got 17 million weekly viewers at its peak, and Joanna’s one-time Food Network special “In the Kitchen with Joanna Gaines,” which aired on April 5, had more than 3 million viewers — the highest rated weekend daytime spot in the channel’s history.

HGTV

Chip and Joanna first announced that they would be launching their own network in November 2018, seven months after Fixer Upper aired its bittersweet series finale. Magnolia Network will take over what is currently the DIY Network, which is owned by HGTV’s parent company, Discovery Inc.

The Gaineses have already announced a lineup of ten original shows, covering topics like gardening, cooking, travel and architecture, and starring some friends — Harp, and their favorite band Johnnyswim — and new faces, including a farmer-florist in the Pacific Northwest, the owner of a unique restaurant in small town Maine, and a couple changing lives for the better in Texas.

Magnolia Network will also air the full Fixer Upper library.

Mike Davello

The channel was intended to launch on October 4, but that date has been pushed back in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. No new date has been announced.

“Right now, it’s important that we all continue to look out for one another by upholding the guidelines set forth by the experts, leaders and front-line heroes working tirelessly to get us all through this difficult time,” Chip and Joanna said in a statement. “With this as our top priority, we’ve decided to delay Magnolia Network’s launch until we can safely resume production. We have an incredible team behind us and we look forward to the days ahead when we can get back to work, telling good stories that encourage, motivate and inspire hope. In the meantime, we are hosting this special preview where we’ll give you a peek into what we’ve been working on and more of what’s to come for this network we’re building!”

“Magnolia Presents: A Look Back & A Look Ahead” airs Sunday, April 26 on DIY Network.