Image screengrab via YouTube

There may be more to the news of Chip and Joanna Gaines ending their Fixer Upper run on HGTV after five seasons, according to Page Six, whose source claims that the couple’s seemingly premature retirement came about as a result of “horrible contracts” with the network.

The report alleges that the Gaineses—who said they needed a break from their show—are looking to reposition themselves for a bigger paycheck. The problem is that HGTV’s parent company Scripps is known to be tight and controlling with contracts, says a source who described the standard Scripps setup as “restrictive” and “awful.”

Advertisement

However, Discovery Communications is currently going through the motions of purchasing Scripps, a change in ownership that would presumably allow Chip and Joanna to renegotiate for more money to buy more bountiful loads of shiplap, according to Page Six:

The source added, “As Chip and Joanna grew more famous and popular over the years, the HGTV conceded to a few changes to their contract — like not taking a percentage of their Target collection — but they still wanted the Gaineses to shoot long days, promote the show and just work their butts off.

“So they are using this end of their contract as a total renegotiation to get the deal they really want: more money, less work, more control. The timing of Discovery buying Scripps worked well in their favor. With Discovery hopefully now about to own Scripps, they are rolling the dice thinking the new owners will come running after them and give them the deal they really want.”

Chip and Joanna are already the king and queen of Waco and have liberty to shape their careers however they see fit. Adding fuel to the situation, though, they’re dealing with a lawsuit from their fellow Magnolia Real Estate cofounders who’ve accused the couple of cutting them out of potential earnings before landing their HGTV deal. At any rate:

Discovery execs can’t approach any Scripps talent until at least early next year. But a TV insider said, “Discovery will surely go after Chip and Joanna, once the deal is cleared, because of their huge popularity. Discovery deals are traditionally much more generous to the talent, and the network can turn them into international stars, like Discovery did with ‘Cake Boss.’”

An HGTV refuted the claim in a statement, insisting, “Of course, this inflammatory information is inaccurate.”

Advertisement

A PR rep for Chip and Joanna stated, “Chip and Jo’s decision to leave Fixer Upper is truly just based on wanting to catch their breath for a minute; to rest, refresh, and spend even more time with their family and growing businesses.” The truth is somewhere between the lines of the shiplap.