Why HGTV is once again a happy home, after a chaotic 2016


If you think your 2016 was rough, try being HGTV. As the network helped many shell-shocked viewers cope with reality, especially in the wake of the election, it also faced some troubles of its own: Tarek and Christina El Moussa, the central couple of Flip or Flop, separated following an alleged gun incident. And Chip and Joanna Gaines, whom viewers know from Fixer Upper, came under fire thanks to a BuzzFeed article about their church and its pastor's anti-gay stance. Now, however, it seems the network is ready to start fresh—by shoring up some of its seemingly shakier properties.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, HGTV announced Wednesday at an upfront event that Fixer Upper—whose hosts asked for "slack" in the new year following their controversial autumn—is getting a half-hour spin-off. Perhaps more importantly, it confirmed that Flip or Flop is not over yet, despite its central couple's parting. Fans have been worried since December, when it was announced that the show would end in 2017. Instead, HGTV announced that the show will get five new versions—each set in a different city, and hosted by a new couple.

See photos of Chip and Joanna Gaines:

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'Fixer Upper' Joanna & Chip Gaines
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'Fixer Upper' Joanna & Chip Gaines
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Designers Joanna Gaines and Chip Gaines attend AOL Build Presents: 'Fixer Upper' at AOL Studios In New York on December 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 08: Designers Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines attend AOL Build Presents: 'Fixer Upper' at AOL Studios In New York on December 8, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Desiree Navarro/WireImage)
THE CHEW - Chip and Joanna Gaines as well as Victoria Justice are the guests on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 on ABC's 'The Chew.' 'The Chew' airs MONDAY - FRIDAY (1-2pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) CARLA HALL, CHIP GAINES, MICHAEL SYMON, JOANNA GAINES, DAPHNE OZ, CLINTON KELLY
THE CHEW - Chip and Joanna Gaines as well as Victoria Justice are the guests on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 on ABC's 'The Chew.' 'The Chew' airs MONDAY - FRIDAY (1-2pm, ET) on the ABC Television Network. (Photo by Lorenzo Bevilaqua/ABC via Getty Images) JOANNA GAINES, MICHAEL SYMON, CHIP GAINES
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines appear to promote 'The Magnolia Story' during the AOL BUILD Series at AOL HQ on October 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines appear to promote 'The Magnolia Story' during the AOL BUILD Series at AOL HQ on October 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Donna Ward/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines attend The Build Series to discuss 'The Magnolia Story' at AOL HQ on October 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines attend The Build Series to discuss 'The Magnolia Story' at AOL HQ on October 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 19: Chip Gaines and Joanna Gaines attend The Build Series to discuss 'The Magnolia Story' at AOL HQ on October 19, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/WireImage)
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As for the Fixer Upper spin-off, the half-hour program will follow Joanna Gaines, detailing her behind-the-scenes approach to each week's designs. Chaos first erupted around the show following a BuzzFeed post detailing the anti-gay stance taken by the Gaineses' pastor. (As with most pieces of this kind, there was no shortage of backlash defending the Gaineses.) At the time, HGTV responded to the controversy by saying, "We don't discriminate against members of the LGBT community in any of our shows. HGTV is proud to have a crystal clear, consistent record of including people from all walks of life in its series."

And indeed, Chip and Joanna's show has nothing to do with their religious background—which might make HGTV's decision to expand the franchise easier to swallow for the Gaineses' critics. Because in addition to giving Joanna Gaines a fresh venue, away from the show she was on when the controversy broke, the spin-off shows that HGTV is still truly behind the the Gaineses—and invested in their future at the network. Titled Behind the Design, the spin-off will reportedly air this year, with a preview set to air on March 28.

See photos of Christina and Tarek El Moussa:

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'Flip or Flop' couple Christina El Moussa and Tarek El Moussa together
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'Flip or Flop' couple Christina El Moussa and Tarek El Moussa together
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Tarek El Moussa and Christina El Moussa attend Tarek and Christina, TV's Favorite House Flippers, Featured at TREND/Stone Source Event in New York on September 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Tarek El Moussa and Christina El Moussa attend Tarek and Christina, TV's Favorite House Flippers, Featured at TREND/Stone Source Event in New York on September 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 15: Tarek El Moussa and Christina El Moussa attend Tarek and Christina, TV's Favorite House Flippers, Featured at TREND/Stone Source Event in New York on September 15, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Sylvain Gaboury/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
LAKEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 13: Tarek and Christina El Moussa, hosts of HGTV's hit show Flip or Flop, visited the HGTV Santa HQ at Lakewood Center. The reality stars visited with Santa, toured the new digital Santa headquarters and celebrated the holidays with fans on December 13, 2014 in Lakewood, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Lakewood Center)
LAKEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 13: Tarek and Christina El Moussa, hosts of HGTV's hit show Flip or Flop, visited the HGTV Santa HQ at Lakewood Center. The reality stars visited with Santa, toured the new digital Santa headquarters and celebrated the holidays with fans on December 13, 2014 in Lakewood, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Lakewood Center)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MARCH 12: Jason Langford, Christina El Moussa & Tarek El Moussa of HGTV's 'Flip or Flop', new North American brand ambassadors, and Jamie Diaz attend the TREND Group and Granite Transformations global rebranding and ?Immense? product collection launch event at Temple House on March 12, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MARCH 12: Christina & Tarek El Moussa of HGTVâs âFlip or Flop,â new North American brand attend the TREND Group and Granite Transformations global rebranding and âImmenseâ product collection launch event at Temple House on March 12, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MARCH 12: Christina & Tarek El Moussa of HGTV's 'Flip or Flop', new North American brand ambassadors, attend the TREND Group and Granite Transformations global rebranding and âImmenseâ product collection launch event at Temple House on March 12, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MARCH 12: Kenya Moore of Bravo's 'The Real Housewives of Atlanta', Christina El Moussa and Tarek El Moussa of HGTV's 'Flip or Flop', new North American brand ambassadors, attend the TREND Group and Granite Transformations global rebranding and ?Immense? product collection launch event at Temple House on March 12, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
TV hosts Tarek El Moussa , right, and his wife Christina El Moussa, second from right, talk during filming of HGTV's 'Flip or Flop' reality TV show as they discuss what to do with this recently purchase house in Whittier on July 19, 2013. The single story 3 bedroom, 1 bath, 1,112 sq. ft home was purchased for $275,000 cash in a short sale. They will put up to $40,000 into fixing it up and hope to sell for $350,00- $400,000. It came with a bonus room. It was discovered the bonus room had a bad foundation and was demolished. They also discovered mold between the walls. (Photo by Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
ANAHEIM, CA - JULY 2, 2014: Husband and wife team Tarek,right, and Christina El Moussa help contractor Steve Cederquist pull down a terminate invested trellis in the backyard of a home during the filming of an episode of 'Flip or Flop' on July 2, 2014 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
LAKEWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 13: Tarek and Christina El Moussa, hosts of HGTV's hit show Flip or Flop, visited the HGTV Santa HQ at Lakewood Center. The reality stars visited with Santa, toured the new digital Santa headquarters and celebrated the holidays with fans on December 13, 2014 in Lakewood, California. (Photo by Jerod Harris/Getty Images for Lakewood Center)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MARCH 12: Christina El Moussa of HGTV's 'Flip or Flop', new North American brand ambassador, attends the TREND Group and Granite Transformations global rebranding and âImmenseâ product collection launch event at Temple House on March 12, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
MIAMI BEACH, FL - MARCH 12: Christina El Moussa and Tarek El Moussa of HGTV's 'Flip or Flop', new North American brand ambassadors, attend the TREND Group and Granite Transformations global rebranding and âImmenseâ product collection launch event at Temple House on March 12, 2016 in Miami Beach, Florida. (Photo by Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images)
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