The Duggar family’s hit reality series 19 Kids and Counting was cancelled after the now-infamous Josh Duggar scandal of 2015. The media uncovered a bombshell police report that indicated that the Duggar boy had once been investigated for molesting young girls, including his sisters. To further add to the family’s turmoil with the network and sponsors, Josh Duggar later admitted to a pornography addiction and infidelity. Though it seemed that TLC’s relationship with the Duggar family was officially over, the network has announced that they will air at least two “specials” that will focus on the Duggar daughters, Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald. So what exactly will we see in the new TLC Duggar specials?
The Associated Press first reported that the Duggar family would be returning to the TLC line-up, at least temporarily. In the initial press release, TLC noted that at least two new Duggar specials will air on the network. The specials will be focused on the two newlywed Duggar daughters, Jill and Jessa. Though the specials are currently unnamed, the synopsis indicates that the show will follow Jessa as she prepares for the birth of her first child with husband Ben Seewald.
The other special will follow Jill Dillard as she prepares to move to El Salvador for a “long-term” mission trip. The program will show the young Dillard family as they make preparations to leave the country with their infant son Israel.
“What we will be following in these specials is Jessa preparing for her first child and we’ll be watching Jill preparing to make a major move to Central America with her family, which we know is something our audience will be interested in.”
Jill Dillard has confirmed the special on her Instagram account noting she can’t wait to “reconnect” with her fans and TLC.
Jill says that she is “looking forward to reconnecting with everyone with the new specials on TLC.” Jill dropped hints that the special will focus on the challenges they faced when moving out of the country for their mission work. The Duggar daughter says that the special comes after many fans asked about her mission work and the challenges taking a family to another country. She specifically mentions difficulty adjusting to the new culture in Central America along with learning a new language.
Therefore, it seems that TLC may be monetizing unseen footage that they had already secured when filming 19 Kids and Counting. Before the Josh Duggar scandal broke in the media, TLC was still filming the hit reality series in Arkansas. Therefore, when they decided to pull 19 Kids and Counting from the air, it was acknowledged that a lot of footage that had already been filmed would be unusable. However, Jessa had already found out about her pregnancy and heard her babies heartbeat, whereas Jill had announced to her family that she was moving to El Salvador before filming ended. This would make it highly likely that TLC plans to piece together footage of the two Duggar daughters to create the initial “two or three” specials to see how the audience responds before continuing regular filming of the duo.
TLC went on to say that the specials will likely air before the end of the year as they moved “quickly” with the specials as they know fans are eager for more.
“We know that our audience is really excited about what’s been going on with Jill and Jessa as they move into young adulthood. And now they’re both at the precipice of big changes. With what was happening in their lives in the next few months, it felt like now is the time (for the specials), and we got going pretty quickly.”
What do you think about TLC bringing the Duggar daughters back to the network? Do you agree that the first few specials will likely be recycled footage from the 19 Kids and Counting that was never aired due to the Josh Duggar scandal?
[Image Credit: Instagram/ Jill Dillard]