Josh Duggar played his role nicely as the conservative oldest son of the 19 Kids and Counting clan on TLC. Married to his sweet wife Anna Duggar, he seemed like the perfect leader of the pack of Duggar kids. But then came the reports that he had molested several underage girls as a teen, including some of his sisters. The network cancelled the show, and more scandals followed, including Josh’s two paid accounts on the Ashley Madison website for infidelity, the confession that he had cheated on Anna, and admission of an addiction to porn followed, resulting in Duggar heading to rehab for sex addiction.
Now TLC is reprising the show with a new name, Jessa & Jill: Counting On, and the show, currently limited to three episodes, gives Anna a platform to voice how she really feels about Josh, reported Refinery 29.
With four children, Anna is shown in the promotional clip for the show revealing her thoughts when she learned that Duggar had cheated on her. Watch below as she shows her heartbreak and ends her silence.
“I was just like, I’m going to wake up and everything is going to be okay,” said the 27-year-old. “This can’t be true.”
Two of the sisters molested by Josh, Jill and Jessa, also share how they’ve dealt with what their brother did. The first episode of Counting On airs Sunday, December 13 on TLC.
As for how the network itself feels about Josh Duggar? CEO of Discovery Communications David Zaslav addressed the elephant in the room by proclaiming that the cable channel’s need to cancel 19 Kids and Counting in response to the molestation reports was “a little bit unlucky,” reported the Wrap.
“TLC is a little bit more of a culturally driven brand… it’s a little bit more erratic,” admitted the CEO in reference to the ratings issue. “But also, we got a little bit unlucky, I think, with TLC.”
In addition to cutting the ratings winner 19 Kids and Counting because of the scandals generated by the Duggar family, TLC cut Here Comes Honey Boo-Boo for almost parallel reasons.
“We also need to probably work a little harder at getting it right,” mused the executive, “but I think our strategy is right.”
And the strategy is to focus on middle America rather than big cities, added Zaslav. If you’re a TV critic for a major newspaper in Los Angeles or New York, he would prefer you turn the channel.
“TLC is middle America. We basically say, ‘Forget New York and L.A.’ We don’t want anybody writing great reviews of our content in the New York Times or the L.A. Times.”
However, Zaslav is hopeful that the future of TLC looks rosy.
“I think we can build [it] back up,” he insisted.
While the cable channel seeks to boost its profit, some of the Duggar family members also are looking at the paycheck that results from their new reality TV show, according to Hollywood Gossip.
Jill and Jessa Duggar are in the title of the new show, but other Duggar family members have also been filmed for the cameras. However, not everyone is on board, with some upset by what they consider the exploitation of Josh’s scandals for money and fame. In particular, they are perturbed that Anna has been put on the show to discuss her heartbreak.
“Certain members of the family are more focused on ratings and a paycheck than actually focusing on the issues at hand,” said one Duggar family member cited by Hollywood Gossip.
But other members of the family are avoiding the cameras.
“[Some have] chosen not to participate in the special out of respect to the serious ordeal the family has been going through in the last months,” added the family insider.
[Image via Jill & Jessa: Counting On/Facebook]