Chip and Joanna Gaines Discuss the ‘Secret’ to Casting Shows on Magnolia Network — ‘Finding People Who Don’t Want To Be on Television’

Chip and Joanna Gaines are two of the most unlikely television stars.

The former Fixer Upper hosts became the most popular renovation experts on HGTV following the launch of their reality show in 2013. Now they’ve translated that popularity into a lifestyle brand that’s worth millions. And they’re not done yet.

The Gaineses are embarking on their most ambitious project so far with the launch of their television network in 2021. Magnolia Network will include talented individuals like themselves in a variety of industries, from gardening to cooking to antique restoration.

One thing all the new talent has in common? They don’t actually want to be on TV.

Chip and Joanna Gaines don’t even own a television

Chip and Joanna Gaines
Chip and Joanna Gaines | Desiree Navarro/WireImage

Most reality stars are desperate for fame and fortune. The Gaineses became so successful due to their complete lack of ambition, at least when it came to gaining celebrity status. The couple was discovered by HGTV casting agents thanks to Joanna’s renovation blog. Joanna knew it was big deal filming a pilot for HGTV — but she didn’t own a television at the time. In fact, the pair still doesn’t have a TV in the house.

And one reason the Fixer Upper stars became so famous is that fans recognized that humility and authenticity. Even while hosting the most popular show in HGTV history, the Gaineses never changed their attitudes. They even stayed in the same little farmhouse in Waco.

Chip Gaines says he chose Magnolia Network talent in 1 unique way

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The Gaineses were adamant that they didn’t want to stick to just one thing for Magnolia Network, which will be replacing DIY under the Discovery family. The couple sought a variety of different hosts all focused on being intentional in their work and creating beauty in the world. Plus, the couple looked for individuals who, like them, had no interest in becoming famous.

“Our secret ingredient to good television is finding people who do not want to be on television,” Chip confirmed during a Fast Company event. Joanna agreed, saying their casting process was unique compared to other networks.

“We didn’t go out and do casting calls, anything like that. We just looked around,” she said. “It’s what they’re doing in real life that drew us to their story. Without the cameras on them, you could see the passion, you could see the drive, the risk. And then when you’re watching, you’re like, ‘Now I want to go do that.’”

Chip and Joanna Gaines want Magnolia stories to bring families together

The Gaineses’ main goal for Magnolia Network is bringing families together. They focused on creating family-friendly, fun content that will inspire everyone to gather and watch in the same room.

“You see how everyone watches television now—everyone’s in their own room, on their own device,” Joanna said. “It’s no longer a thing of bringing families together. We got excited about just that idea of getting people back around that television, and being with family, and leaving and being inspired.”

The Gaineses still aren’t watching TV together. But they fervently hope your family will find joy with Magnolia Network when it premieres in 2021.