When Chrisley Knows Best premiered in 2014, the reality series about real estate mogul Todd, wife Julie and their Atlanta family became a hit for the USA Network thanks to the stars’ southern charm and relatable squabbles. They became so popular, in fact, it wasn’t long before their kids, Savannah and Chase, got their own offshoot, Growing Up Chrisley, which returns for season 3 along with season 9 of the main show on August 12.
For the patriarch and matriarch of the family, no matter how much the empire expands or how famous they become, the one constant is the love they have for each another. Ahead of the premieres, we sat down with Todd and Julie as they reflect on the show’s longevity and preview what’s to come.
This season we’ll see you celebrating 25 years of wedded bliss. How is it working together after all this time?
Todd Chrisley: I’m blessed to be working every day with my family. The show has been a blessing to us in so many ways. In more ways than it has ever been a curse. I hope what people have taken from it is this family is imperfect. We are going through the same things they’re going through. We made it because we cared enough to stick in it.
Julie Chrisley: Absolutely. I think it gives relatability, which so many people have said. They feel like they know who we are because we have been so open and shared the good and bad. I think you’ve been able to see us evolve, our children evolve, our children grow up in front of the camera.
Spending so many hours together, do you find that need for space?
Julie: I think before the show Todd and I both had careers, but we’ve always kind of stuck to ourselves. Our focus has always been on our marriage, our children. That hasn’t changed. Yes, I have wonderful friends as does Todd. At the end of the day, it’s about us as a family and as a couple. If we’re doing all the things to feed and nurture those things, we don’t have a lot of time for anything else.
Todd; When it comes to space, we don’t do that. We’ve given the opportunity for the kids to do that. Our kids have made the decision they don’t want to vacation without their parents. Listen, there are times we don’t want to vacation with our children. Our children though, do well if they are with us for a few days and get to feel grown and adult. After 24 hours they are getting back closer to the nest.
Has your approach to parenting changed based on your past experiences?
Todd: Our core value system has not changed. What we expect from all our children remains the same. We don’t advocate drinking, drugs, extramarital affairs. Doing things we believe are improper or just not the way we were raised. I don’t think we are raising Grayson and Chloe much differently than Lindsie and Kyle. I’ll say [they] were my starter two. I was 21 and 22 when I had them. I still raised them the same way I was raised, which was to do the right thing. Be kind and considerate human beings, and never look down on someone. We continued that same philosophy with Chase and Savannah. Now Grayson and Chloe are being raised with the same core values. Has my parenting softened a little bit? Probably because it’s 2021. It’s not 1989 when I had my first one. I want to grow and evolve and be the best parent I can be with hopes it will help me become the greatest grandparent of all time.
When it comes to COVID, what kind of impact did it have?
Todd: COVID is the worse thing to happen in my generation. I’ve never seen our country shut down. The folks that make all this magic happen were ahead of the game. They were at the forefront making sure everyone was being tested. That everyone is wearing masks and social distancing. They separated our crews where only a certain amount of people were around us in our homes. They would rotate people in and out. We were very blessed. It was probably the safest I believe I have ever felt. The emotional side of it did have an impact on us because we were staying home every day. Savannah and I would walk in the park just to get out of the house. Emotionally, it took a toll on everyone’s mental health. That wasn’t happening. As far as what you will see on the show, you will see a family pushing through every day.
Chrisley Knows Best has opened the door for other families on the USA Network. What is it like to be the catalyst for that?
Todd: That credit goes to those who came before us like The Osbournes, the Kardashians. We’re just a different family. Now we are finishing up season 9 and moving toward season 10. I think it’s such a blessing and a testament that if you stay true to yourself and do not try to become what everyone else thinks you should be, then you maintain that authenticity. People are drawn to authenticity. The network has allowed us to do that. When you have a partner that is willing to do that, it makes your job so easy because you’re living in your true authentic self.
Julie, has your view of the show changed since the beginning?
Julie: I have learned over time how much people are invested in our show. Whether I’m at the grocery store or the mall, walking in the park. People will come up and talk to me about my breast cancer journey. Maybe they are going through the same thing or dealing with kids or something else. For that, I don’t take that lightly. It’s more than a 30-minute reality show.
What are you most looking forward to viewers seeing this season? I expect Nanny Faye will get into her share of mischief.
Todd: As long as Nanny Faye is on this side of the ground, you’re going to see her getting into something. Nanny Faye is living her best life. She will be 77 on September 2. She is literally at the casino right now. You’re going to continue to see Savannah and Chase evolving. You’re going to see more of what it takes to run a successful business like Savannah is doing with Sassy Cosmetics. I truly believe we are in season 9 because we give all the glory to God. We are where we are because he placed us here and stay here for as long as God wants us to stay here. When he wants us to move on, the world will let us know it’s time to move on.
Season 9 of Chrisley Knows Best premieres August 12, 9/8c, USA Network
Season 3 of Growing Up Chrisley premieres August 12, 9:30/8c, USA Network