The Duggar family has returned to the set, and there’s no longer anything secret about it. An interviewer for TLC says she’s been working with the family today — yes, including Jill Dillard, whose return to the U.S. might be all about the show, or might be due to fears of Zika virus and pregnancy.
Danni Starr is an interviewer for television and radio, and on Saturday, she says she’s on set at TLC. Who is she there to interview? According to her official Facebook page, subjects include the Duggar family.
“Huge day for me today! I’m interviewing Jill and Jessa, The Little Couple and The Busby Bunch! TLC has a lot of faith in me and I’m so thankful! Wish me luck!!”
Don’t worry, Starr isn’t just spreading idle gossip with no evidence, either. She’s also shared photos, including this one of herself with the Duggar brothers.
Of course, the Duggar family’s return to reality tv was already an open secret — they’d been spotted filming in public, anonymous TLC officials had given off-record wink-and-nod responses, and it was clear the network and the Duggar family had never really broken up to begin with.
This, though, is the nearest thing to an official announcement from TLC, and goes a step further to hint at Jill’s return.
As far as her return, there’s been a lot of speculation that she’s back in Arkansas with her family, either due to the Zika virus (which may be a concern for pregnant women) or simply for her return to television.
The Duggar Family Official Facebook page has helped fuel this speculation by sharing photos of Jill and Derrick with Josh Duggar’s daughter Mackenzie — who the family announced, back in the Jill and Jessa: Counting On specials last month, was living in the Jim Bob Duggar home.
There’s an interesting coincidence, by the way, in the date on that photo. Though there’s no assurance it’s the date the photo was taken, only the date it was uploaded to Facebook, it coincides neatly with the first case of Zika virus in Arkansas, according to Scientific American. That case was reported the same day, January 26, in a patient who brought it back to Arkansas from an undisclosed location in Central America. This doesn’t confirm that Jill is pregnant, has the Zika virus, or returned to Arkansas on that date, but it does line up.
One thing we do know is that officials at TLC have the Zika virus on their minds. Their website is hosting an article on the dangers, including specific references to the risks to pregnant women in Central America, and the network has tweeted about it.
— TLC Me (@TLCmeNow) January 22, 2016
The Duggar family currently isn’t responding to questions about whether Jill has really returned to Arkansas, and she and Derrick have been pretty quiet on their social media pages for the past few weeks.
As for TLC, they have not yet responded to emails with direct questions about returning the Duggar family to television, but are clearly advertising the family, if not a specific show, on their website — it was only yesterday that the network posted a series of photos of Duggar grandchild Spurgeon Seewald, declaring,
“Nothing gets us more in a weekend mood than a heaping helping of cuteness with a side of awwww.”
TLC is also still uploading new content with Jill and Derrick, and Baby Israel, to their site. The latest photos show the family still in Central America, but these haven’t been updated since the photos of Jill in the Duggar family home surfaced.
Even without an official announcement from TLC, everything adds up: Jill appears to have returned to Arkansas, the Duggar family is being filmed, not only in public but on a TLC set, TLC’s website is hosting new Duggar content, and information about the show is being gradually leaked to the public.
With no official announcement, there’s certainly no declared launch date, but it’s a safe bet the Duggar family will be back on television in short order.
[Image via TLC]