If success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration, then “Fixer Upper” fans have been getting a raw deal. Since its debut in 2013, cohosts Chip and Joanna Gaines have offered viewers a behind-the-scenes view of home renovation, from gleeful demolition to tearful unveiling. But viewers hoping to replicate the Gaines’ modern farmhouse style had to figure much of it out on their own
No longer. Next month, when the Gaineses debut Magnolia Network, their joint venture with Discovery, they plan to also unveil nine workshop-style courses designed to help viewers master skills like growing flowers, painting, and home styling. The courses, free for Discovery+ subscribers, will be available through a complementary Magnolia app on July 15.
Magnolia’s expansion into educational content arrives at a moment when people have been rediscovering hobbies and investing in home improvements, trends that seem poised to continue even as the pandemic begins to wane. MasterClass, a subscription service for celebrity-taught virtual courses, raised an additional $225 million in funding and tripled its valuation to $2.75 billion last month. Skillshare, a platform for learning creative skills, raised $66 million last August.
Each Magnolia workshop is comprised of several “chapters,” with no individual lesson lasting longer than 22 minutes.
Some Magnolia courses will be taught by on-air talent from the new network. A course on “Making a Design Statement,” for example, will be led by former TV set decorator Brian Patrick Flynn, star of Magnolia Network’s “Mind for Design.” And a course on baking cookies, including peanut butter shortbread and chocolate chip, will be taught by pastry chef Zoë François, star of Magnolia Network’s “Zoë Bakes.” (Both shows premiere in July.)
Other workshops will be led by Magnolia’s own in-house talent. Magnolia creative director Hilary Walker will teach courses on living room and dining room styling. Magnolia visual creative director Rebecca Weller will teach one on acrylic still-life, drawing on her expertise capturing birds and flowers.
The workshop hosts were hand-selected by Joanna, says Allison Page, global president of Magnolia. “With Magnolia Workshops, users will have an opportunity to move beyond their curiosities and into action—at a pace and skill level that works for them—anytime, anywhere.”
Both Discovery+ and the Magnolia app will feature Magnolia Network’s original unscripted programming and the “Fixer Upper” back-catalog. Following its digital launch in July, Magnolia Network will launch on linear TV in January 2022. In the process, DIY Network will rebrand as Magnolia Network.