Jana Duggar is going to return to TV as a member of Michael Bates’ wedding party. Michael has asked Jana to be one of her bridesmaids, so the Bringing Up Bates camera crew will definitely have to get a shot or two of the former 19 Kids and Counting star. The Bates family isn’t worried that Jana will try to steal the spotlight away from Michael on her big day, but the Bateses are concerned that Jim Bob Duggar is going to pull some sort of stunt that will help him and his family score as much TV airtime as possible.
According to the Daily Mail, Michael Bates and Brandon Keilen are getting married this Saturday in Knoxville, Tennessee. This is a long drive from the Duggar family’s home in Tontitown, Arkansas, but Jim Bob & Co. have decided to make the 700-mile trek in hopes of getting back in front of a reality show camera. The Duggars and Bateses have been friends for many years, and there are even rumors that Zach Bates once courted Jana Duggar. Because the families are so close, Michael likely felt obligated to invite the entire Duggar clan to her wedding. However, bridesmaid Jana is the only member of the family who was asked to be a part of Michael’s wedding party.
An insider told the Daily Mail that Jana was asked to be a bridesmaid before the Josh Duggar sexual molestation scandal soured the public’s opinion of the Duggars, but Michael and Jana reportedly have a “genuine bond” that can’t be broken by Jana’s connection to one of America’s most hated families. However, it’s possible that Michael is regretting her decision to invite the rest of Jana’s family members to her wedding — because the Duggars caused so much controversy and were dumped by TLC, their presence might cast a shadow on her big day.
The Bateses are another 19-kid family, and they made their first reality TV appearance on 19 Kids and Counting. Now the tables have turned — 19 Kids has been canceled, and it sounds like Jim Bob is pretty desperate to appear on the Bates family’s UPtv show, Bringing Up Bates. Weddings were always big ratings-earners for the Duggars, so UPtv is likely hoping that Michael’s big day will give Bringing Up Bates a bit of a ratings boost. The Duggars’ presence at the wedding might also attract a few extra eyeballs if the 19 Kids and Counting fans who miss the embattled family decide to tune in, but the Bateses don’t want their friends to hog the camera.
Unfortunately for the Bateses, an insider believes that it will be very hard for Jim Bob “to just walk away from a rolling camera.” A source even told PEOPLE that Jim Bob believes that his presence on TV is “part of God’s plan,” and he’s determined to get back on the small screen so that he can “spread the word” about his family’s faith.
“While the Duggar family is invited to the wedding, the Bates don’t want them causing controversy or trying to hijack the wedding for their own agenda. It will be interesting to see if they get left on the cutting room floor in the editing room, or if Jim Bob will use it as an opportunity for himself and his family.”
The Bateses might decide that they don’t want Jim Bob’s face on Bringing Up Bates, but the insider reveals that Jana Duggar will “definitely get air time.” There’s no word on when Michael’s wedding episode will air.
As the Inquisitr previously reported, many 19 Kids and Counting fans were hopeful that the Duggars would find a new home on UPtv after the cancellation of their TLC series. However, it’s possible that the family is holding out hope that they’ll get to return to TLC in the future. During an interview with CNN Money, a spokesperson for the network revealed that TLC is still open to the idea of creating a spinoff series centered on a few of the Duggar children. Maybe someday fans of the Duggar family will get to see Jana Duggar walking down the aisle on TLC, and maybe she’ll finally be a bride, not a bridesmaid.
Do you think 19 Kids and Counting fans will give Bringing Up Bates a ratings boost by tuning in to catch a glimpse of Jana Duggar and her family? And will Jim Bob Duggar cook up a way to steal the spotlight away from the Bateses on Michael’s big day?