HGTV’s ‘Fixer Upper,’ starring two Baylor alums, launches season three tonight
The year was 2001. Chip Gaines, BBA 98, had a truck that needed a brake inspection; Joanna Stevens, BA ’01, needed to put in some hours at her father’s tire shop. A “Hey, you’re the girl from the commercials!” got things started, and two years later, they were married.
Fast-forward almost 15 years, and the Gaineses have four children, a growing business — and one of HGTV’s most successful shows ever. Almost 25 million viewers watched the second season of “Fixer Upper,” and millions more will tune in as season three starts tonight (8 p.m. CT, HGTV).
In fact, it seems everything the 2015 Baylor Alumni of the Year touch these days turns to gold — and that touch has extended to the city of Waco. With their Magnolia storefront at the downtown silos becoming a tourist destination and the interest in living in Waco spiking, the whole city is feeling the “Magnolia effect” – even Baylor, which is featured or mentioned in many of the episodes. (Through the first two seasons, 17 of the 26 couples whose homes were being fixed up included at least one Baylor graduate and/or staff member.)
[LINKS: Watch Joanna’s testimony from April’s “The Gathering” service || Read Baylor Magazine‘s Summer 2015 feature, “Home Makers” || Read Baylor Arts & Sciences magazine November 2015 feature, “Magnolia Blossoming”]
“We are dumbfounded with what has transpired, but we are so excited,” says Joanna. “The first day I met at Chip at Firestone, I was drawn to him when he said he wanted to stay in Waco — that there was something about this town he really likes. I always felt that about Waco as well.”
If you’re like me and can’t wait for the premiere of season 3 tonight, HGTV has posted a little sneak peek here.
Sic ’em, Chip & Joanna!