On Monday, TLC teased Counting On fans with a glimpse of the show’s third season. Sans one, all important milestones in the Duggar family right until the end of March were included.
The teaser gave fans a peek into Jinger Duggar’s life in Texas replete with pregnancy talk, Jessa Seewald giving birth to son Henry, Jill Dillard’s return to Central America, and Joy-Anna Duggar’s proposal. Joseph Duggar’s courtship with Kendra Caldwell is also a part of the upcoming season. Essentially, the third season takes off where the second left fans – Jinger’s honeymoon and Joy’s courtship.
Conspicuous by its absence in the teaser was news of Anna Duggar’s pregnancy, announced in March. The announcement was made by the Duggar family on its Facebook page and triggered rumors of Josh Duggar’s return to television. Josh’s public appearances had become scant after a report leveled against him allegations of sexual abuse of minors, including four of his sisters, two years ago.
“For nearly the last two years, we have quietly worked to save our marriage, focus on our children, and rebuild our lives together as a family. Doing so is never easy after a breach of trust. We’ve learned that a life of faith and rebuilding a life together is simply done one day at a time. As we continue our journey as a family and rebuild our lives, we are delighted to share with you that we are expecting a new baby boy later this year. Beauty comes from ashes and we cannot wait to see and kiss the face of this sweet new boy! – Josh & Anna”
Consequently, it seems rumors of Josh’s return to television this year were just that – rumors. If the teaser is a hint of what is to be featured, it looks like TLC does not want Josh Duggar on the show. According to various reports, efforts were made to ensure he was not seen during Jinger’s wedding though Anna Duggar was seen planning the bridal shower. Advertisers have reportedly threatened to walk out in the past over reports of Josh making a comeback.
In the recent past, Duggars shared just one image of Josh taken with the family during a trip to Kentucky. However, fans and critics managed to dig out more images which showed the oldest Duggar child sporting appearance starkly contrasting his images from before May 2015.
After he publicly apologized for his actions as a teenager, TLC cancelled 19 Kids & Counting. Josh Duggar also stepped down from his position at the DC-based Christian organization Family Research Council. The revelations of minor sexual abuse were followed by findings of an Ashley Madison account under Josh’s name. He further shocked fans by confessing he had cheated. A six-month stint in a faith-based rehab for sex and porn addiction followed but was not the end of his troubles. An L.A.-based DJ and model Matthew McCarthy is suing Josh for unauthorized use of his images on the latter’s Ashley Madison profile pages. The lawsuit claims McCarthy and his family suffered due to Josh’s action. According to In Touch, the 29-year-old could appear in court next week.
Images shared by sources other than the Duggar family are the only recent public sightings of Josh. The Duggars and the family’s friends also refrained from sharing anything about him or Anna from the recently concluded Big Sandy Family Conference. While Josh and Anna remain publicly ostracized, the family has not shied away from sharing images of the couple’s children. Ironically, these pictures have served to remind many of the time Josh has been away from television. Sadly though, the children on some occasions have been victims of their father’s infamy.
At this point, one can also speculate that TLC might have reserved Anna Duggar’s fifth pregnancy for the season after the next, for which Joy’s wedding and Jill Dillard’s giving birth to her second son are most likely lined up. Counting On Season 3 begins June 12.
[Featured Image by Andrew Burton/Getty Images]