Discovery Delays Chip and Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network Debut Due to Pandemic

Company will offer 4-hour preview of upcoming slate this Sunday on DIY Network

Chip and Joanna Gaines
'We look forward to the days ahead when we can get back to work,' said Chip and Joanna Gaines. Mike Davello
Headshot of Jason Lynch

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As Hollywood productions remain shut down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, network schedules have been ripped up as content pipelines begin to dry up. The novel coronavirus has caused countless films and TV shows to be delayed—and now, for the first time, it is postponing an entire network.

Magnolia Network—Discovery Inc.’s joint venture with Chip and Joanna Gaines’ home and lifestyle brand, Magnolia—will no longer debut on Oct. 4 as scheduled. Instead, the network will roll out when “we can safely resume production,” the home improvement power couple said today.

However, Discovery will give viewers a taste of what’s to come with a four-hour preview of Magnolia that will air this Sunday on DIY Network—which will ultimately be rebranded as Magnolia Network. Called Magnolia Presents: A Look Back & A Look Ahead, the special will kick off at 5 p.m. ET.

“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,” said Chip and Joanna Gaines 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!”

In January, Discovery had unveiled the name and launch date for the long-in-the-works network, which shares the name of the Gaines’ home and lifestyle brand.

“We couldn’t be more excited,” Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav said in January. “We think Chip and Joanna represent the values that America is looking for.”

Sunday’s four-hour special will include a look back at the Gaines’ hit HGTV series Fixer Upper, along with an early look at Magnolia’s slate of original programming, including Growing Floret (about an organic flower farm), Home on the Road (about a married music duo touring with their family), Bespoke Kitchens (kitchen renovation in England) and several other upcoming shows.

Last year, Discovery said the DIY Network—which debuted in 2010 as an HGTV spinoff—would be rebranded for the Gaines’ network. At the time, the company had expected Magnolia to launch in summer 2020.

The new network will extend the already wide-ranging home improvement brand helmed by Chip and Joanna Gaines, which also includes a remodeling and design company, a quarterly magazine Magnolia Journal, a home goods arm, a coffee shop and a hotel. Fixer Upper, the home improvement show that catapulted the couple to stardom, was one of HGTV’s most popular programs when it aired from 2013-2018.

Magnolia Network will also include its own direct-to-consumer offering, which Discovery said will be unveiled at a later date.

@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.