When the news that Josh Duggar, the oldest son of the 19 Kids And Counting clan, had molested several underage girls when he was a teen, advertisers fled and TLC faced pressure to cancel the show. They did so, and two of his sisters, Jill Duggar Dillard and Jessa Duggar Seewald, have stepped forward to say that they were among those sisters molested by Josh.
Since then, Jessa and Jill have been a presence on social media, with fans staying so much by their side that TLC semi-rescinded the cancellation to create a new series, called Counting On. But although Counting On supposedly is intended to focus on Jessa and Jill, it seems to be more of a thinly disguised reboot of 19 Kids and Counting, according to Starpulse.
When Jessa enjoyed a baby shower recently, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were right there with the cameras in full glory. And with the exception of Josh, who remains in a treatment center after confessing to the molestation, cheating on his wife, Anna, using the Ashley Madison website for infidelity, and porn addiction, the rest of the family was there, as well, just like the old days of filming 19 Kids And Counting.
Terming it a “family style” baby shower (in contrast to the typical Duggar family baby shower that is for girls only), the party included praying, pumpkin treats, and a competition that involved (gulp) drinking milk.
Was this part of Jim Bob’s desire to return to the TV screens of the nation? The patriarch of the Duggar family reportedly was upset by the fact that TLC cancelled the family’s show, because he felt he still had plenty of words to share regarding the Duggars’ outlook on everything from religion to raising kids.
And it’s not just Jim Bob who is eager to voice his views on TV, and perhaps reap some of the big bucks that come with doing reality TV. Ben Seewald also pushed for his wife, Jessa, to have a let-the-dudes-in baby shower. And when the couple await the birth of their first baby, TLC’s cameras and the Duggars will be present, as well.
In addition, TLC brought their cameras to the going-away gala for Jill and Derek earlier this month. Getting more TV time were Michelle and Jim Bob, as well as most of the 19 kids.
As the Inquisitr reported, TLC initially announced that it was planning only a few episodes of the new Duggar family series allegedly focusing on Jessa and Jill.
A preview of Counting On showed the two sisters discussing their brother’s confessions about molestation, cheating on his wife, and porn addiction, although the series supposedly will primarily center on upbeat topics such as Jessa welcoming her first baby with Ben, and Jill involved in her ministry with her husband.
“Here I am, most joyful time of my life, newly married, baby on the way, and then … the whole world was shocked. … You have to wonder, like ‘How did this happen?’ ” recalled Jessa when she learned that the family’s secret had become public knowledge.
TLC currently is planning to air Counting On in three parts starting in December.
But will that be enough to save the Duggar family fortune? Their reality TV show, 19 Kids And Counting, previously constituted Jim Bob’s and Michelle’s primary income source before it was cancelled after news of the molestation broke, according to Hollywood Take.
Adding to their worries, their ability to profit from appearances and speeches has dwindled. And although a book featuring the scandals in which Josh has immersed the family might make money, would Jim Bob and Michelle be willing to rake the family, including the sisters he molested, through the coals of publicity required for such material?
With a net worth estimated at $3.5 million, the Duggar family may find that the future looks shaky. It remains to be seen whether the reboot of 19 Kids And Counting could achieve such high ratings that more episodes are ordered, restoring the family faith and fortune in the power of reality TV.
What do you think about the Duggar family’s future and fortune? Will you watch the 19 Kids And Counting reboot? Post your comments below.
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