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Tarek El Moussa and his ex-wife Christina Hall built an empire with their hit show Flip or Flop, but it wasn’t easy for them to get the series on HGTV. El Moussa revealed what motivated him and Hall to start their show and how they did it.

Tarek El Moussa and Christina Hall, who starred on the HGTV show "Flip or Flop."
Christina Hall and Tarek El Moussa | Aaron Rapoport/Corbis/Getty Images

Christina Hall and Tarek El Moussa moved from a $6,000 a month house to a $700 a month apartment while they were married

Tarek El Moussa and Christina Hall had already been together for years before starting their popular HGTV show Flip or Flop. They first met in 2005 and got married in 2009, but they didn’t become TV stars until 2013. 

Before they started their renovation show, the couple shared a real estate business. They were quite successful until the Great Recession hit in 2008. The economic crisis forced El Moussa and Hall to move from a $6,000-a-month home into a $700-a-month apartment (per Redbook). 

The couple realized they had to pivot, so they decided to start flipping houses. El Moussa approached producers for a show and recorded their first flip. HGTV began airing Flip or Flop in 2013, and the show became a huge success, running for 10 seasons.

Flip or Flop fans saw El Moussa and Hall have their second child, grow their business, and achieve fame and fortune. They watched the couple weather cancer diagnoses and fertility issues. El Moussa and Hall decided to separate in 2016, and their divorce was finalized in 2018. They continued filming Flip or Flop together throughout their divorce, but the long-running show finally ended in March 2022, and the former couple parted ways.

Tarek El Moussa revealed how he and Christina Hall got ‘Flip or Flop’ on HGTV: ‘I shoved it down their throats’

Christina Hall and Tarek El Moussa hadn’t even flipped their first house yet when they started approaching networks about a renovation show. El Moussa opened up about the process and how he got HGTV to air Flip or Flop on a May 2021 episode of the Endless Hustle podcast.

“There was no casting. TV didn’t find me, I found TV,” El Moussa said. “I forced it down their throats.”

He described how he and Hall attended a huge real estate convention in 2010. There were two seats open in the front row, and a friend who was leaving texted El Moussa to ask if he wanted to take the spots.

“At first, I was like, ‘I don’t wanna go to the front, that’s where all the rich people are, I don’t sit up there,’ you know, that’s where all the big players were,” El Moussa said.

But they took advantage of the opportunity and made their way to the front row. After he and his wife were spotted there, people started approaching them because, according to El Moussa, they were “young and decent-looking,” and everyone wondered who they were.

El Moussa met a man from a local TV show who said the exposure helped him make money because people recognized him and wanted to work with him. “So literally a day or two later, I’m at home, and I’m talking to my ex-wife, I’m like, ‘Man, we gotta get on TV, we gotta do what that guy did, what do we do?’”

He said he had just bought his first house he was preparing to flip. “So I was like, ‘What if we flip houses on TV?’” El Moussa said he got the idea and started Googling LA production companies and sending them emails. “I actually pitched the show before I ever flipped a house.”

He found a  production company interested in working with them, and the rest was history.


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The HGTV stars have launched several successful spinoff shows

Although Tarek El Moussa and Christina Hall’s marriage ended, as did Flip or Flop, the two stars have found continued success on reality and renovation television.

One year after the divorce, Hall launched a spinoff show called Christina on the Coast. In 2020, El Moussa started his spinoff series, Flipping 101 with Tarek El Moussa. And in April, Hall revealed that she and her new husband, Josh Hall, had created a production company called Unbroken Productions. The couple is co-producing another spinoff, Christina in the Country, with HGTV. 

In June, El Moussa announced that he and his new wife, Heather Rae Young, have a new HGTV show called The Flipping El Moussas.