The Untold Truth Of Growing Up Chrisley

When a relatively unknown father and businessman by the name of Todd Chrisley entered the pop culture ether, no one could've predicted just how outrageous — and catastrophic — the patriarch's time in the spotlight would become. Of course, Todd has been at the center of the incredibly popular USA show "Chrisley Knows Best" for nine seasons, as the cameras have documented the Chrisley family and all of its ups and downs. Whether you love them or hate them, the Chrisleys have given people plenty of gossip, pop culture drama, and on-screen challenges to speak of, and the show has only developed with time.

Like any good reality show, "Chrisley Knows Best" birthed a number of spin-offs, including the now favorite, "Growing Up Chrisley." Following Savannah and Chase Chrisley — the two middle kids of the blended family pack — the show details the on-camera darlings' attempt at living life on their own terms. They packed their bags, hit the road, and dared to call Los Angeles home. So how did the successful spin-off come about, and have Todd and Julie Chrisley's recent legal troubles impacted its future? Did Savannah and Chase's LA desires go according to plan?

The Chrisley kids made their first appearance on the family's namesake show

When we think of famous reality TV families, the Kardashians instantly come to mind — and when the cameras first started rolling, Kylie and Kendall Jenner were just kids. The same can be said for Savannah and Chase Chrisley, as a good chunk of their childhoods was captured on-camera with the filming of "Chrisley Knows Best." The show was never something that Todd Chrisley had envisioned for his family — as he told OK! Magazine, it was only after multiple offers that they decided to take the plunge.

"We kept putting things off, because we had to deal with family. Then [production] came back and said, 'We've been wanting to stay away from you guys. But I just want you to know we presented this to 10 different networks, and we have nine offers.' And so I thought, wow, the world really does have a desire for crazy," Todd recounted.

Clearly identifying that the family unit had TV juice, USA's senior vice president said via Variety in the early days of production that the "over-the-top" clan had a "refreshingly honest" streak — and success seemed imminent.

The original show pushed the kids into the spotlight

Young kids appearing on camera has often been a bit of a cautionary tale. Recall the days of "Jon & Kate Plus 8," when a small army of children was documented during what seemed like every part of their day. When "Chrisley Knows Best" dropped on the USA Network, the family got the same kind of attention as their reality TV counterparts. A particular spotlight was cast on the kids — including "Growing Up Chrisley" stars Chase and Savannah Chrisley — and it wasn't always positive. Speaking with People in the aftermath of the show's first season, Todd and Julie Chrisley reflected on what it was like for their family, and specifically the kids, to get so much unfiltered attention. For them, it was an eye-opening experience.

"I don't think there are any subjects that are going to be off-limits with us, because I don't think we can parent our children effectively if we're not honest and current with every situation that's going on in our life," Todd told People. The couple added that their kids were "called out" after the first season for "using profanity," criticism that impacted the couple's parenting from that point on.

Chrisley Knows Best had a young audience, prompting multiple spin-offs

Demographics are everything when it comes to a successful TV show — especially reality networking, which can be a fickle thing if the subjects aren't famous in their own right — but "Chrisley Knows Best" met a successful fate after its first season. As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, the show enjoyed 1.25 million viewers during one episode alone, making it one of the network's most successful shows. If that wasn't good news, it was noted that "Chrisley Knows Best" was most popular among a young demographic — adults between the ages of 18 and 49, to be exact — making it USA's "youngest original series," with the average viewer around 36 years old.

With all of that said, it's no wonder that by 2015, a spin-off show focusing on Todd Chrisley's two middle children was in the works. During a separate sit-down with The Hollywood Reporter, the Chrisley ringleader shared that the ongoing project — specifically featuring Chase and Savannah Chrisley — would be a welcomed addition to the Chrisley franchise.

"Listen, my children will never be so far away that Todd will not be present," he said. "I can assure you that I will be popping in quite frequently."

Savannah and Chase's spin-off was greenlit after Season 6 of Chrisley Knows Best

With six seasons of "Chrisley Knows Best" under their belts, Chase and Savannah Chrisley's own spin-off show — "Growing Up Chrisley" — was given the green light. As noted by Deadline, USA confirmed the news, announcing that Season 7 of the flagship show as well as 16 episodes of the spin-off would hit the airwaves in 2019.

So given that "Chrisley Knows Best" had established a firm base for both Savannah and Chase, what would the spin-off be about? Deadline noted at the time that the first season would follow the siblings as they ventured from Nashville, Tennessee to the City of Angels, Los Angeles, in hopes of following their professional and personal dreams. What's more, they were determined to prove to their father that they could make it on their own.

Heather Olander, the senior vice president of alternative development and production for the USA Network, said of the new spin-off, "In 'Growing Up Chrisley,' Chase and Savannah are trying to make it on their own in a new city — but no matter what, they will always make their way back home. That's why fans will be sure to see both of them in the new season of the flagship series as well."

Growing Up Chrisley dropped its first season in 2019

Five years after "Chrisley Knows Best" premiered, Savannah and Chase Chrisley were blessed with their own spin-off show, "Growing Up Chrisley." Aged 21 and 22 at the time, respectively, Savannah and Chase were determined to get out of Tennessee and spread their wings — an experience that many young people seek out in their early 20s. Ahead of the series premiere, People got an inside look at the season's trailer, letting fans know that Savannah and Chase were excited for what was to come in the city of Los Angeles.

"I feel like we need to get out of Nashville, see if it helps us find ourselves," Savannah said in the Season 1 trailer. "I think LA is where we need to be."

The spin-off begged the question, however: What did Chase and Savannah want to accomplish in Los Angeles that they couldn't in their home city? As it turned out, Savannah wanted to launch a clothing line, and Chase was dedicated to his dream of acting. 

Was their father supportive of the move? "I look forward to eating in the restaurant that Chase is going to be working in," Todd Chrisley said.

The spin-off didn't score in the ratings department at first

To say that "Chrisley Knows Best" enjoyed fruitful ratings is an understatement — the show became one of USA's most successful programs, leaving many to believe that its spin-offs would enjoy similar levels of viewership. While "Growing Up Chrisley" sounded like an interesting venture, Radar Online reported that its first season did not result in the levels of popularity that Savannah and Chase Chrisley had expected.

"Todd [Chrisley] is trying to pull some strings, but there really is nothing that can be done to save it at this point, so they are hoping for a miracle," an insider from the production team told Radar Online of the first season's results.

So what were the siblings blaming for the low viewership? Chase alleged that his sister was "fake," while Savannah asserted that her brother was "not interesting" or "funny." As such, their father reportedly stepped in to save the show from burning to the ground — probably not the move that the independence-driven siblings were hoping for.

A source claimed the siblings couldn't stand each other when the cameras weren't rolling

As Radar Online reported, there was allegedly some tension between Savannah and Chase Chrisley in the early moments of "Growing Up Chrisley." In fact, in a separate article, Radar Online noted that the tiffs captured on camera between the brother and sister were "nothing compared to their blowout brawls" that occurred when the crew wasn't around. To make matters worse, a friend close to the Chrisley family dished about the sibling duo to the outlet, recounting that what was seen on-screen couldn't be further from the truth.

"Savannah and Chase literally cannot stand each other in real life, and it's really interesting to watch them pretend they like their lives, because it is so far from the truth," the source said.

With so much effort gone into carving out their own paths, it begs the question as to why Savannah and Chase were putting up with one another. To cut a long story short, the insider remarked that neither Chrisley kid had anything of their own to fall back on, as they understood that without "Chrisley Knows Best," their future endeavors were limited.

Despite difficulties, Growing Up Chrisley was renewed for a second season

While the early days of "Growing Up Chrisley" appeared to be rocky, Savannah and Chase Chrisley eventually found that "miracle" they'd been hoping for. As noted by Deadline at the time, the "Chrisley Knows Best" spin-off was renewed for a second season. It would continue to follow both Chrisley kids as they tried to make it in Los Angeles — clearly, their determination to make it as professionals in their own right was unabashed.

While the spin-off hadn't enjoyed the same kind of viewer ratings as their family's original show, "Growing Up Chrisley" had come to find its own niche of viewers. When the second season was announced on Twitter, fans chimed in with happy statements at the return of the series. "Yayyy can't wait!!!!!" one fan tweeted amid the news. "Love this show!" wrote another.

As the first season had captured the siblings' actual move to Los Angeles and their early days in the City of Angels, the second season was all about the pair finding their footing. As noted by Deadline, Season 2 forced the Chrisley kids to realize that LA is a far cry from their lives in Nashville. That, coupled with the ever-present pressure from their father to either succeed professionally or come home, "Growing Up Chrisley" was on the up-and-up.

By the end of Season 2, Growing Up Chrisley had found its footing

In some cases, a reality TV series just needs a little bit of time to get its feet on the ground. Think about the early days of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," versus the newer Hulu show, "The Kardashians," and you'd think you're watching an entirely different family, given all their personal and professional growth. Similarly, as it turns out, "Growing Up Chrisley" just needed some time to find its niche. As noted by Deadline, Season 2 saw some much-needed viewer improvement.

While the family's titular show, "Chrisley Knows Best," was enjoying its ninth season with an average of 1.5 million viewers, Chase and Savannah's spin-off was pulling in about 1.1 million viewers. To sweeten the pot, it was announced that USA was renewing the show for a third season.

While both Chrisley kids were pursuing their big LA dreams, the show did allow for them to grow professionally, with Chase even starting his own candle company. The Chase Chrisley Collection dropped in November 2020, with the founder saying that his mom's love of candles inspired his work.

Season 3 started off with a hysterical bang

As "Growing Up Chrisley" got more and more popular, elements of Savannah's and Chase's personal lives began cropping up on-screen. Namely, Chase's girlfriend, Emmy Medders, became a staple on both the show and in the Chrisley family's life behind closed doors. With that said, Season 3 of the "Chrisley Knows Best" spin-off brought a hilarious comparison to the camera, with Chase seemingly unaware of just how similar his girlfriend is to his own mom, Julie Chrisley.

During the Season 3 premiere episode, the "mama's boy" and his friend Elliott strike up a conversation about Medders, as noted by E! News. As Elliott quickly pointed out, the young Chrisley's girlfriend and mom are strikingly similar. "Chase, you're my brother, but those two females look alike, they walk alike, they talk alike, they breathe alike," Elliott is captured saying. "I mean honestly, if I was in your position, I'd be like, 'This is weird, I'm dating my mom.'"

As it turns out, Elliott and his crew had a group message entirely dedicated to Medders' similarities with Julie, even showing Chase a "face morph video" of the two to make his point.

The Chrisleys added yet another show to their franchise

With the established success of "Chrisley Knows Best" and the ever-growing popularity of "Growing Up Chrisley," it didn't come as a huge surprise that the family's franchise found itself growing yet again. As noted by Variety in May of 2022, USA announced that in addition to a 10th season of the family's titular show — as well as a fourth season of "Growing Up Chrisley” — a Chrisley-hosted dating show titled "Love Limo" was in the works. The premise? Todd Chrisley would help hopeful singles find love in a "speed dating" setting. (Todd's potential prison sentence might make this complicated, but we'll get to that later.)

Of course, Variety noted that "Love Limo" was joining the already established Chrisley franchise and would be a side note to "Growing Up Chrisley," which has been renewed for Season 4. With Savannah and Chase embarking on their mid-20s, the newest season is set to show the pair as they "navigate new and old relationships, businesses, and family dynamics." Their father and his company still serve as the producing force behind the show, as well as All3Media America. As of publication, Season 4 has yet to drop, but the three seasons are available on NBC's streaming service, Peacock.

The Chrisleys' world came crashing down when the parents were convicted of bank fraud

The Chrisley empire seemed to be going up, and up, and up. But if gravity has taught us anything, it's that what goes up must come down. As for the Chrisley family, their world came crashing down.

As reported by WSB-TV Atlanta, both Todd and Julie Chrisley were found guilty of tax and bank fraud in June of 2022, with the jury holding them to all counts filed against them after a three-week trial. In addition to the charges, Julie was also convicted of wire fraud. To say that the ruling has rocked the Chrisleys' world — and, of course, their TV empire — is an understatement, and the couple's attorney has every intention of fighting the verdict.

"Both Chrisleys are devastated and disappointed with the verdict and will be pursuing an appeal," the couple's lawyer, Steve Friedberg, told People. "Julie and Todd are so grateful for the love and support shown by their family, friends, and fans. They both remain strong in their faith and will continue the 'fight' until they are vindicated. They have their priorities in order and are currently concentrating on the welfare of their children and Todd's mother."

Savannah is in her parents' corner amid their legal troubles

It's one thing to be in the spotlight thanks to your own show, but "Growing Up Chrisley" star Savannah Chrisley has to be experiencing some of the most life-altering moments. Taking to social media amid her parents' ongoing legal issues, Savannah made it clear that she is on Todd and Julie Chrisley's team, writing that the "pre-storm" era of her life was centered around unimportant things, and that the "storm" made her realize what truly matters.

"Oddly enough ... I am grateful in a weird way, because I know there is a God who out of nothing, does everything!" Savannah wrote on Instagram. "He can take what the enemy used to try and destroy you and use it to develop you. I am in the process of finding ME ... so bear with me. No matter what happens in life ... choose love."

As for her brother, Chase Chrisley has been quiet on social media regarding his parents' conviction and future jail time, but he was spotted delivering groceries to them while they remained on house arrest. Time will tell what a prison sentence will look like for the Chrisley patriarchs.

Chrisley Knows Best will still air, and Growing Up Chrisley will drop Season 4

With so many ongoing legal issues surrounding the Chrisley family as of publication, you'd think that "Chrisley Knows Best," "Growing Up Chrisley," and "Love Limo" would all be on the chopping block. Think again. As noted by The Hollywood Reporter, USA has every intention of maintaining the Chrisley family's presence on television, with the original series airing the second half of Season 9 throughout the summer of 2022. As for "Growing Up Chrisley," Season 4 is still in the works despite the trial and verdict, and it seems safe to say that both Chase and Savannah Chrisley have kept their jobs.

As for the future of the franchise, NBCUniversal — the parent company of USA — made it known that all three shows have been renewed, as they remain some of the network's "most-watched original series." Even as Todd and Julie Chrisley's lives are entangled with legal battles and repercussions, USA has aired about 60 episodes of "Chrisley Knows Best" and 15 episodes of "Growing Up Chrisley" since the couple was indicted.

With all that said, it will be interesting to see how Season 10 of "Chrisley Knows Best" and Season 4 of "Growing Up Chrisley" pan out.