Fans were shocked to learn that Fixer Upper would be ending after only 5 seasons.
Rumors flew -- maybe it's because their family is still growing. Maybe it's because they wanted to work on their alleged marital troubles.
But now there's a report that might finally make all of this make sense ... despite the Gainses fervent denials.
There's going out on a high note, and then there's canceling your show at its height of popularity.
Well, Joanna Gaines is pregnant with her fifth child. That's a big deal for any couple on just about any show.
But if they were fine doing a show with four kids, then five wouldn't hurt, right? That would just be more Gaines family for fans to love.
Then there's the theory that they're having marital problems. Even Chip Gaines admits that their relationship has imperfections.
But they say that they aren't splitting. So why are they saying "no" to success?
They say that every safety rule, every regulation, every warning sign, and every contract is written based on history. On things that went wrong for one party or another.
It sounds like that extends to TV contracts, as well, because Page Six reports that Chip and Joanna are holding out for a better contract deal.
"Many years ago, when Scripps, which also owns Food Network, signed Rachael Ray, they didn’t think about Rachael starting a magazine, launching product lines, getting endorsement deals, and her books selling millions of copies."
This comes from an HGTV Network insider, folks.
"And so while Food Network turned Rachael Ray into a star, she made tens of millions and Scripps got none of it."
Some would argue that this is fair. That the network gets commercial revenue from the show itself, while Rachael Ray's other projects are her own.
Others would say that, by giving her a platform, the network deserves a piece of the pie.
"After Rachael, they made sure no talent deal would ever put them in that situation again."
"Since the Gaineses were relatively unknown when they started, they signed the general Scripps talent contract…."
Time and time again, we've heard of unknown people with star potential signing contracts that they would later come to regret.
"The talent can’t do anything without their approval -- any appearance, any publicity, any endorsement, any product -- you have to ask them for permission."
That ... sounds like hell.
"It is awful. And on top of that, Scripps takes a big percentage of everything you make -- books, appearances, endorsements, products. If you make money, they take most of the money…."
They must feel like they're trapped. Household names, but being paid a pittance of what many would consider them worth.
"So [Chip and Joanna] are using this end of their contract as a total renegotiation to get the deal they really want: more money, less work, more control."
Apparently, the Gaineses believe that the odds are in their favor for one very good reason.
"The timing of Discovery buying Scripps worked well in their favor."
Discovery knows the value of a reality series.
"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."
It is a gamble, but perhaps it will pay off.
And if not, well, there are reports that the couple's been meeting with other networks to pitch a new show.
Still (as you can see in the video above), the Gaineses have denied that this is about money.
They're currently worth about $8 million each, but they suggested that they wouldn't continue at this point, even if offered a ludicrous offer.
But ... we have to consider that this could be their branding talking.
Some people find discussing money to be "vulgar," and so if they were to admit: "Hey, we're holding out for more money! Our millions aren't enough!" it might hurt their brand.
For the sake of their fans, let's hope that whatever it takes to get them back on TV happens.