The Real Reason Why Down Home With The Neelys Got Canceled

Do you remember "Down Home With the Neelys"? This Food Network show was so popular because it seemed to show a happy couple working together to create delicious food. While the food was real, and just as yummy as it looked, the perfect couple aspect was evidently a big sham. Sadly, by the time the show first aired in 2008, former high school sweethearts Pat and Gina Neely were already kind of over each other. As Gina told People, by this point in their 20+ year marriage, having to go in front of the camera and fake a loving relationship "wasn't healthy or happy." 

As it turns out, Gina had wanted to end her marriage before the show even began. In another People interview, she revealed, "I never wanted to be a TV chef. I was a branch manager at a bank. I was going to divorce Pat prior to the show. And then all of a sudden the train jumped on the track and I had to hold on for my life." Well, in 2014, the show — and the marriage — came to an end when Gina finally walked out on both. "I remember leaving with my purse and my duffle bag, and I was out of there," she recalled. 

What happened to Pat Neely after the show was canceled?

These days, both Neelys are living entirely separate lives. Pat Neely still has fond memories of his years spent as a celebrity chef, saying, "I truly had a blast... I had an opportunity to get on television every day and invite people into our home. And I was able to share that with my high school sweetheart, a woman I truly loved." While he told People the divorce was devastating, he met the second love of his life just a year later and is now happily remarried and a new father and stepfather (in addition to his adult children shared with Gina). He summed up his life circa 2018 by saying, "You just never know what wonderful things are in store for you."

In addition to enjoying family life with his new brood, Pat is still cooking up a storm. Last December he appeared in a special holiday program at the Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church, where his mom is a member, sharing videos of his at-home quarantine recipes. The Memphis Business Journal notes that he has also released a line of his own merchandise, while another MBJ article says he's also returned to the restaurant business and has been involved in promoting an Atlanta-based chain called This Is It! Southern Kitchen & BBQ,

What's Gina Neely up to these days?

Gina Neely hasn't spoken with her ex in years, but she'd most likely agree with Pat that her life has also taken a turn for the better since they split. She returned to the small screen in a reality show called "To Rome for Love" where she went to the Italian city looking for romance. While no Roman relationship ever seemed to get off the ground for her, Gina has been quite successful in her new career as a motivational speaker. During a conversation with Ming Zhao, CEO of PROVEN Skincare, Gina revealed that she was also writing a book called "These Are My Rules, This Is My Life and I Want It Back", a self-help manual meant to help other women starting over in midlife (via Thrive Global). She's now finished the book and it's available for purchase on her website.

According to Gina's Instagram, she's now a wellness advocate, but it appears that she means "wellness" in the holistic sense of the word as it applies to the mind as well as the body. Among her recent projects is an Instagram Live series called "the Comfort of Me." One recent guest was a relationship coach that would help participants, in Gina's words, "feel what you need to feel, so you can heal what you need to heal!"

The Neely's daughter Shelbi has gone through some tough times

If you were a fan of "Down Home With the Neelys," you probably saw Pat and Gina's daughter Shelbi helping mom and dad in the kitchen. Shelbi seemed happy enough on-air, but as she admitted in one particularly gut-wrenching Instagram post last year, "I struggled throughout high school with depression." She went on to say, "After a car accident in college, I began to not only struggle with depression, but anxiety as well. By fall semester of my senior year of college I had attempted to take my life. I just wanted the pain to stop." 

While Shelbi mentions that she did "a lot of work in therapy for about a year that helped me tremendously and led me to recovery," a later Instagram post from earlier this year explains that it wasn't therapy alone that helped her through her troubles. "After a few years now in mental health remission (thank You, Jesus!!)," she says, "I've struggled to find my confidence." In earlier years, she says her confidence "was built off of my own strength and power," but she now feels that "True power comes from the one and only living God." As she tells her followers, "God called me for more. He called me higher. Now, it's time for me to walk in it."

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ at​ 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.