Some critics of Jill & Jessa: Counting On, the upcoming trio of TLC specials centered on Jessa and Jill Duggar, believe that the specials are simply a re-branding of 19 Kids and Counting. There’s also a good chance that the Jill & Jessa: Counting On specials will feature plenty of recycled 19 Kids and Counting footage.
The Christian Post writes that the Jill & Jessa: Counting On spin-off specials are proof that TLC “still has some faith in the Duggars.” However, the specials might also be the network’s way of making use of the unseen 19 Kids and Counting footage that it has already filmed. TLC cancelled the Duggar family’s popular reality series, 19 Kids and Counting, after it was discovered that Josh Duggar had sexually molested a babysitter and four of his younger sisters.
Jill and Jessa Duggar were two of Josh’s victims, and many Duggar fans didn’t think that it was fair for TLC to kick them off of TV because of their older brother’s actions. Back in July, these fans campaigned to save19 Kids and Counting. They likely thought that their efforts failed when TLC announced that it was giving the show the ax. However, a few of the Duggar critics, who have flooded the Jill & Jessa: Counting On Facebook page with negative comments about the Duggars, are convinced that viewers won’t be able to tell the difference between the trio of Jill & Jessa specials and 19 Kids and Counting.
“TLC has rebranded 19 Kids and Counting and is returning the Duggar family to tv as Jill and Jessa Counting On,” Laura Krenek Flynn writes. “They subjugate women, covered up and enabled child sexual assault, abuse children with blanket training, discriminate against other religions and the LBGT community and condone spousal rape. To put them back on TV, is an endorsement of their illegal and immoral actions.”
Her post included a link to a Facebook page asking TLC viewers to boycott Jill & Jessa: Counting On.
— Cosmopolitan (@Cosmopolitan) October 19, 2015
Some commenters on the Freejinger website also believe that Jill & Jessa: Counting On is just 19 Kids and Counting with a different title, and they think that the specials will probably use a lot of recycled 19 Kids footage. Many commenters have pointed out that TLC used a large amount of flashback footage on 19 Kids, and they believe that Jill & Jessa: Counting On will likely follow the same format as the Duggar family’s old TV series — viewers might see footage from the episodes focused on Jill and Jessa’s weddings and courtships, for example.
“I am sure that an hour of the show will be a montage of Jill and Jessa growing up and then a recap of their courtships and weddings,” one Freejinger commenter wrote.
There’s also some speculation that TLC was so keen to produce the controversial Jill & Jessa: Counting specials because they’re a way for the network to make use of 19 Kids and Counting footage that never aired. TLC was in the process of filming a new season of the show when the Josh Duggar sexual molestation story broke, and 19 Kids was cancelled before this footage aired. The network might recycle some of it for Jill & Jessa: Counting On.
One Freejinger commenter shared a link to a Daily Mail article about the 19 Kids and Counting footage that wasn’t used. It reportedly includes footage of Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard announcing that they’re leaving for a long-term mission trip, Derick Dillard undergoing dental surgery, Ben Seewald graduating from college, and Jessa Duggar and her husband hearing their unborn baby’s heartbeat for the first time.
“At first they couldn’t find the heartbeat, the baby wasn’t turned the right way or something,” a source told the Daily Mail. “It was scary.”
If viewers see this scene playing out on Jill & Jessa: Counting On, they’ll know that it’s simply recycled 19 Kids and Counting footage.
When news of Jessa and Jill Duggar’s specials first broke back in September, it appeared as though Jessa, Jill, and their husbands would be the only Duggars appearing in Jill & Jessa: Counting On. Nancy Daniels, TLC Executive Vice President, told the Associated Press that the specials would focus on Jessa Duggar and Ben Seewald preparing for the birth of their first child and Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard preparing to move to Central America for their mission work. However, as the Inquisitr previously reported, the TLC cameras have also been spotted filming Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, and Josh Duggar’s wife, Anna Duggar, actually appears in a new promo for Jill & Jessa: Counting On.
— HollywoodLife (@HollywoodLife) November 21, 2015
A source close to the production of the Jill & Jessa specials has said that Josh Duggar will not appear in any of them, but he’s not the only controversial member of the family — Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s presence on Jill & Jessa: Counting On has angered Duggar family critics who feel like the mother and father also deserve to be banned from appearing on TLC. This is because they failed to protect their daughters from their son. When Josh first told his parents that he was sexually molesting his sisters, Jim Bob and Michelle didn’t alert the proper authorities. Because of their failure to take action, Josh continued molesting his younger siblings.
Anna Duggar’s appearance in a Jill & Jessa: Counting On promo has also upset critics who believe that TLC is exploiting Anna. They think it’s reprehensible that the network is using her husband’s sexual molestation and cheating scandals to promote Jill and Jessa’s specials.
The first 90-minute Jill & Jessa: Counting On special will air December 13 at 8 p.m. ET on TLC. Do you think most of it will be comprised of recycled 19 Kids and Counting footage?
[Image via Jessa Duggar Seewald/Facebook]