Flip or Flop: Atlanta, HGTV's latest installment of the home remodeling series, has been a long time coming for Anita and Ken Corsini, a married couple and co-founders of Red Barn Homes -- and they can't be more excited.
First contacted two years ago by a casting director for HGTV, the couple soon found themselves interviewing with the network, creating a sizzle reel and a pilot for their own show, Flipping the South, which aired as a standalone on the network last May. The series was then picked up for a full season, only to be absorbed into HGTV's plan to expand the Flip or Flop franchise during filming. It's been quite the road for the Corsinis, but as they told ET, it couldn't have worked out any better.
"It's a huge honor to be part of an established franchise," Ken said of the shows, which started with Southern California couple Tarek and Christina El Moussa in 2013. Flip or Flop quickly became the second-highest rated program on HGTV, and the El Moussas just as quickly became a tabloid staple, thanks to their recent split. The series has since spawned several spinoffs, including 2015's Follow-Up, 2017's Vegas hosted by Bristol and Aubrey Marunde, and upcoming versions in Chicago, Fort Worth and Nashville. "It seemed like such a long shot. I don't think either of us really thought this would happen," Ken said.
Having a show on HGTV seemed especially far-fetched for Anita, who worked as a high school math teacher before starting a family with Ken. "We were expecting our first child, and Ken had been working in real estate for that year, so before I had that baby, he asked me, 'Why don't you get your real estate license and join me?'" she recalled.
"We just decided to take the plunge together and make it a family business, and that way we were home and around our baby and it kind of bettered our schedules."
Now, the couple's business is booming. "The show does a really good job of just kind of following us around in our daily business. We keep flipping houses like we've been doing for 12 years, and now cameras are going to follow us around and document how it works," said Ken, who doesn't think the show has changed their business. "It just probably highlights what we're already doing."
Filming the show, Anita added, has allowed them to remember how much fun they are together: "When you have kids and you're working, everything's day-to-day, but doing the show really added a fun spark. We genuinely love each other and have fun together, so it was really a fun opportunity for us as a couple to be able to embark on this."
Anita and Ken, who had already started filming when news broke of the El Moussas' dramatic breakup last fall (the two remain friendly and are still working together on Flip or Flop), said they haven't yet met Christina and Tarek -- but don't plan on letting their marriage suffer the same fate.
"To be honest, it's never been a concern. We take our marriage very seriously," Ken said of their 17-year marriage. "We're very intentional about keeping a healthy marriage and staying close to each other and having a really tight-knit family. I don't believe that the show is going to change that."
"Our marriage is first, always," Anita agreed.
That's not to say viewers won't see some drama on TV -- it will just be of the real estate variety. "I'm most excited for everyone to see the walkthroughs, because the houses that we get are like houses of horror," Anita teased. "Some of them are so trashed, so it's quite entertaining to see the walkthrough."
"That's what makes the show so good," Ken concluded.
Flip or Flop: Atlanta premieres Thursday, July 20 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV.