After the serious allegations of sexual abuse against Josh Duggar, incidents that occurred when he was a teenager that he admitted to, TLC decided to cancel 19 Kids And Counting after a wildly successful ten season run. Although his sisters, Jill and Jessa, were among his five victims, they said they had forgiven their brother and that he was not a rapist nor a pedophile. While the family may be intact, the contract is definitely not. Some fans were holding out hope that Jill and Jessa, after beginning their own families through marriage, babies, and other interests, would morph into a spinoff show that did not include brother Josh. That apparently will not happen, either, but not because TLC has any true objection to Jill or Jessa.
According to Hollywood Take, TLC officially announced the show was being taken off the air today. Any hopes of a Jill and Jessa spinoff seem dashed because of Jill’s alleged upcoming missionary work, and apparently, TLC has stated they won’t need that type of show for significant ratings anyway — other shows have become prominent and successful on the network.
The Duggars also confirmed news of the cancellation on their family-run website, which showed gratitude towards fans and TLC.
“Over the last several years people have said to us, ‘We love your show!’ We have always responded, ‘It’s not a show, it’s our lives!’ Our desire in opening our home to the world is to share Bible principles that are the answers for life’s problems. With God’s grace and help Josh, our daughters and our entire family overcame a terrible situation, found healing and a way forward. We are so pleased with the wonderful adults they have all become.”
While many may disagree with that last sentiment, believing that Josh was not properly remediated of his sexual crimes as a teenager, other fans most definitely support Josh and the decisions the Duggars made at the time, which included sending Josh away with a family friend to work on fixing houses, and when he was home, having their daughters lock their bedroom doors at night. His sisters said that they were unaware of the abuse until their parents told them, because “Josh always touched them through their clothes while they were asleep.” Although they said they were upset about it, they were able to forgive him and in the scheme of their lives, did not consider it a significant abuse.
The network is also working in conjunction with two organizations that hope to raise awareness about child sexual abuse. As part of the collaboration, TLC will air a one-hour documentary on the issue sometime next month.
[Photo by Hollywood Take]