Josh Duggar is being re-introduced to TV in the form of a slow and measured return to Counting On, but will that be a good thing for the show? What about for the Duggar family themselves?
Every family has that one relative whose mere mention is poison to the family. Perhaps they’re a drug addict, a drunk, a thief, a criminal. Whenever his name comes up, it’s in hushed whispers and met with revulsion. Your family has one, your neighbor’s family has one, my family has one (heck, in my family it very well could be me).
Unfortunately for the Duggar family, that poison came in the form of the oldest son who, for a while anyway, seemed poised to carry the family’s brand into the future. Back in 2015, everything was coming up Josh: as the oldest of the Duggar kids, he was a prominent feature of the family on their popular TV show 19 Kids and Counting. Off-screen he was forging a career in politics, working with conservative think tanks and advocacy groups. He was a sought-after speaker in the world of Evangelical Christian conferences and seminars.
— As2roid Belt Tightnr (@Socr8es_Johnson) May 7, 2017
That all changed in an instant when In Touch Weekly dug up the news that, back when Josh was a teenager, he’d molested young girls, some of whom were his own sisters. As the family went into damage-control mode – saying it was a decade ago, that Josh had been sent to treatment in response, and so on – even more damning news came out: Josh had signed up for cheating website Ashley Madison.
The family responded by sending Josh away to a Christian treatment center, and then simply not talking about him for two years. TLC, on the other hand, responded by canceling 19 Kids and Counting. However, fans desperate for their Duggar news weren’t willing to accept that, and a compromise was reached. The network gave the oldest Duggar daughters, Jill and Jessa, their own show, Counting On.
— Сергей (@tretiakov_se) April 17, 2017
Now, two years later, according to Christian Post, the Duggar family wants Josh back on TV. However, rather than just add him as a regular cast member of Counting On and letting the pieces fall where they may, they’re taking things slowly. Specifically, he’s going to appear in a webisode and, if it goes over well, he will have more of a presence on Counting On.
Will Josh’s return hurt Counting On? That’s difficult to say. Clearly America loves its Duggars and can’t get enough of them; that’s the reason why Counting On is still a thing, two years after Josh’s scandals. But will Josh’s return poison the well, so to speak, and hurt the show’s ratings? Or will the next-in-line Duggar patriarch improve the show’s ratings?
At this point, it seems way too early to say. Josh has paid for his crimes, and dearly. He’s gone from being a reality TV star with a promising career in politics to being a used-car salesman – and not a very good one, according to The Hollywood Gossip. Some viewers may be tempted to hold those crimes against him for the rest of his life and immediately delete Counting On from their DVR’s once he returns. Other viewers, however, may believe that he’s paid his penance and should be allowed back on TV. Others still may simply just not be able to get enough Duggars, and if that means bringing Josh back into the fray, then so be it.
Do you think Josh Duggar returning to Counting On will be good for the show?
[Featured Image by Danny Johnston, File/AP Images]