When the Duggars starred in 19 Kids And Counting, the family seemed like the ultimate conservative, clean-cut clan. And then came the revelations that the oldest son, Josh Duggar, had molested five underage girls, four of whom were his sisters, when he was a teen. TLC cancelled the show, and that scandal was soon followed by the discovery that Josh had used the Ashley Madison site to cheat on his wife, Anna Duggar. After confessing to infidelity and an addiction to porn, Duggar entered rehab.
But despite those scandals and the previous cancellations of the Duggars family show, TLC then aired a three-part special starring two of the sisters Josh had molested, entitled Jill and Jessa: Counting On. It did so well that TLC is giving the Duggars family a full season, which will debut on Tuesday, March 15, reported Us Weekly.
Jessa Duggar Seewald will reveal what’s involved in raising her 3-month-old son Spurgeon with her husband Ben, and the show also will follow Jill Duggar Dillard and her husband Derick as they work as Central America missionaries while raising 10-month-old Israel.
But just as with those specials, despite the title of the show, other members of the Duggars family will also star. Among them is Josh’s wife, Anna, as well as several brothers and sisters of Jessa and Jill, including Jana, Jinger, Joy Anna, John David, Josiah, and Joseph Duggar.
A promo for the Duggars new show hints at the “journey” that the family has traveled since the first reports broke about Josh.
“We’ve shared this journey with the world,” muses Jessa. “Family is everything.”
How long could this show run? 19 Kids and Counting attracted viewers and advertisers for 10 seasons, revealing how patriarch Jim Bob and matriarch Michelle Duggar cared for those 19 kids, prior to the May, 2015, cancellation.
TLC will debut the new season of the Duggars’ show, Jill and Jessa: Counting On, on Tuesday, March 15, at 9 p.m. EST.
But with Anna as one of the co-stars, will Josh sneak onto the show as well to restore some of his family income after he leaves rehab? Duggar has been in rehab for months now, ever since he confessed to cheating on his wife and an addiction to porn, pointed out MSN.
With regard to the reports that Josh had molested five underage girls when he was a teen (two of whom were Jill and Jessa), Duggar offered up a statement claiming that Michelle and Jim Bob had taken care of the “situation” with various measures.
“Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation. We spoke with the authorities where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life.”
But it was only months later that the news broke that Josh had been unfaithful to Anna and confessed to a pornography addiction.
“I have been the biggest hypocrite ever,” Duggar then admitted.
That was the point where he entered the sex treatment rehab facility. According to Radar Online, Josh is expected to be released from rehab soon.
That would leave the 27-year-old free to join his wife Anna in the Duggars’ reboot.
But the new show is taking place amid protests, with the Duggars‘ hometown angry about the return of camera crew to the area, a source told ET.
“There is a lot of hate regarding the family. After all that has happened, this isn’t the same family in many people’s eyes,” revealed the source.
And it’s not just the locals who are protesting. A Facebook group is contacting advertisers and asking them not to sponsor the Duggars show.
With more than 1,000 members, the group has succeeded in developing a long list of companies who have agreed. The members also are working on a list of advertisers to whom to make that request.
Another Facebook group is protesting with a boycott. That group is concerned that TLC has not been heeding the outrage, and is hoping that by boycotting Discovery channels, members can make a difference.
What do you think about the Duggars’ family new show? Will you watch? Post your comments below.
[Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images]