The real reason Chip and Joanna Gaines left HGTV

Home renovation masters Joanna and Chip Gaines shocked fans in September 2017 when they announced the end of their popular HGTV series, Fixer Upper. Following the devastating news (seriously, the couple's supporters were beyond crushed,) many questions were raised about why the dynamic duo decided to say au revoir to HGTV. Considering how popular the show was and how much money the Gaineses made doing it (it's estimated they raked in $30,000 per episode, according to Town and Country), the confusion was legitimate. 

So, what's the actual story here? Did Joanna and Chip have issues with the network? Were marital problems to blame? What about their kiddos? Were Chip and Joanna concerned about their lack of privacy? Although they've given many interviews on why they left Fixer Upper, some viewers don't believe their claim that they quit due to exhaustion. Let's explore some of the real reasons Chip and Joanna bid farewell to HGTV.

We know it wasn't because of the new baby

Fans speculated for years about whether Chip and Joanna would add another kid to their family of six. Although the parents flip-flopped on the topic, Chip took to social media in January 2018 to announce the couple's fifth pregnancy. "You might recall a few months back.. the ever amazing, ever romantic @JOHNNYSWIM was in Waco," Chip tweeted. "And they put on a little too romantic of a concert.. anyways, one thing led to another, & we are officially pregnant. And I could not be more EXCITED! #5 #7ThePerfectNumber."

Interestingly enough, the folk duo Chip mentioned in his post, Johnnyswim, put on a concert in October 2017. If you didn't catch the timing here, that's just one month after Chip and Joanna announced the end of Fixer Upper. While it's easy to think, "Baby on the way, no time to shoot a TV show," that was never the case, at least according to Joanna. "When we were done, we had no plan like, 'Let's have baby No. 5.' It was a total surprise. But when we found out, it solidified that it was the right decision to leave when we did," she told People. 

The Gaines family welcomed the infamous No. 5, a healthy baby boy named Crew, on June 21, 2018.  

They were worried about their kids' safety

Being in the public eye when you have kids can be scary, especially if you have a huge fan following like Chip and Joanna Gaines. While most fans are probably well-intentioned, others sometimes take things a little too far. Case in point: A source claimed in October 2017 that Chip and Joanna pulled the plug on Fixer Upper because people were supposedly treating their home like a tourist destination. 

"People drive by and like to take pictures in front of their house," the insider claimed, according to Us Weekly. "I think they just want to take a step back from it." The source also added that the couple parting ways from HGTV boiled down to a "security issue." 

Either way, Chip and Joanna have the right to protect their kids, and hopefully fans will respect their right to privacy going forward. 

They opened a restaurant

Anyone who owns a restaurant knows that to succeed in the food industry, you need to dedicate a lot of time to your business. When Joanna announced plans in June 2017 to open a restaurant in their hometown of Waco, Texas, fans wondered how the duo would find time to become restaurateurs amid their busy filming schedule. 

The answer arrived in September 2017, when Chip and Joanna walked away from HGTV to focus on their stylish eatery, Magnolia Table. From planning the restaurant's menu to designing the establishment's interiors, Chip and Joanna were completely hands-on during the entire process, according to realtor.com, and just six months after Chip and Joanna announced their breakup with HGTV, their restaurant opened its doors in March 2018. 

"The @MagnoliaTable is now officially open! So thankful for the amazing team that helped get this restaurant up and running," Joanna gushed on Twitter. "Happy Grand Opening @chipgaines proud of you and your vision for this place." 

Well, at least fans get to chow down on Chip and Joanna's favorite recipes for years to come. We think that's a pretty fair trade-off. 

They need a rest

It can sometimes feel like Chip and Joanna Gaines are robots who run on endless energy. The truth is, however, these two aren't immune to exhaustion and stress, and after four years of tirelessly working on Fixer Upper, the pair was physically depleted. 

"Nobody told us that that was unique," Chip said about filming the show 11 months out of the year, according to People. "Nobody told us that that was a little bit irrational." The good news: Joanna and Chip made the wise decision to practice self-care and to step back from the limelight for a minute. "We gave everything we had to this show — the beautiful homes and those sweet families — but this just felt like the right time to catch our breath for a bit," Joanna said about the couple's bittersweet decision, according to People

It sounds like Chip and Joanna did the right thing here. It goes without saying the couple's health comes first and foremost. 

Their kids are growing up

Time flies, especially when you have young kids — a sentiment Chip and Joanna Gaines know all too well. Given how quickly their kiddos are growing up, it makes sense that the two left HGTV to spend more time with their family. 

"They would ask, 'Mom and Dad, do you guys have to film again today? When is this going to be over?'" Chip told People. "The kids were so young when we started," Joanna added. "Fast-forward to today and our oldest is almost a teenager — they're all growing up so quickly." 

Now that Chip and Joanna have decided to walk away from the show, they look forward to enjoying everyday activities with their children. "Whether it's just ice cream or playing games, we gotta make those moments count," Joanna said on an episode of Fixer Upper that aired in March 2018 (via People.)

They want to keep their marriage intact

Rumors of marital problems plagued Joanna and Chip before bidding adieu to HGTV, so it was only natural that many fans assumed the couple walked away to save its supposedly failing marriage. Asked by Today if there's any truth to this theory, Chip's answer was a bit complicated. 

"I give them a little credence," he said in reference to relationship issues being the real reason they walked away from the show. "For us, the most important thing in the world is Jo and I's relationship followed very quickly by these four beautiful kids. We didn't want to push it, redline it for so long that we woke up and realized we are at a point of no return. We wanted to take a step back and focus on the thing that was absolutely the most important thing to us in the world. 

Translation: Chip and Joanna broke ties with HGTV, in part, in order to preserve their union. As the old adage goes, it's better to be safe than sorry.

They're no longer inspired

As hard as it may be, sometimes you just have to admit when a job or situation doesn't inspire you anymore. Chip and Joanna Gaines, who devoted their lives to home renovation for four years, had to deal with this exact scenario when they decided to move on from HGTV. 

"It's difficult to give your heart and soul to something that no longer inspires you, and for us, that's the show, Chip wrote in his book, Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff. "It has been beautiful and wonderful, and our fifth, final season is our favorite yet, even if getting to the finish line has been a struggle. But I know for sure that we've left it all out on the field, every bit of love and care we have to give to those homes and these families — we gave it all away. We have no regrets and nothing left to give on that front." 

Ouch. Sometimes the truth hurts, doesn't it? 

They've always pursued other projects

For years, Joanna and Chip proved to be powerhouse entrepreneurs even in spite of their hectic schedules at HGTV. In fact, according to People, by the time they called it quits on Fixer Upper, they had already lined up a staggering amount of existing and future projects to pivot toward. 

On top of a cookbook from Joanna, Magnolia Table, as well as Chip's aforementioned memoir, this busy couple also runs vacation rentals, a magazine, and "their mega-attraction Magnolia Market at the Silos," which People reports has "a flea market, garden, food trucks and their Silos Baking Co. eatery." Not enough for you? Well, good, because the Gaineses aren't done there. Don't forget about their booming Waco real estate business and Pier One and KILZ brand product lines. They also have multiple collaborations with Target, as well as plans for a new line specifically for children. 

"We will be launching Magnolia Kids which will have everything from children's furniture to accessories," Joanna wrote in an April 2018 blog about the couple's post-HGTV plans. "There may be some baby stuff, too, because of course that's all I can think about!" 

So yeah, they seem to be doing just fine outside of the show. Frankly, it's amazing these people had time to eat or sleep, let alone shoot a TV show 11 months out of the year. Is it really such a mystery that they decided to take that one giant, time-consuming commitment off their plates? 

They're already rich

It's no secret that Chip and Joanna Gaines have a nice nest egg thanks to Fixer Upper. In fact, the couple is rumored to have a combined net worth of about $18 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Impressive, right? Given the fact that Chip and Joanna are pretty well off, it doesn't necessarily make sense that they would continue working at HGTV. It's not like they'll run out of money anytime soon. Plus, Chip isn't too concerned about finances — a piece of info that might surprise some fans. 

"We probably don't see it the way the rest of the world does," he admitted in his book, Capital Gaines: Smart Things I Learned Doing Stupid Stuff. "If things stop selling, if the offers stop coming and our money dwindles away, I couldn't care less. Seriously. If you don't hear anything else, hear this — I don't care enough about my finances to compromise my family or their well-being. We've had empty pockets before, and that's nothing we can't take on again." 

Wow. Tell us how you really feel, Chip.