Duggar fans without cable can rejoice. The new Duggar mini-series, Jill & Jessa: Counting On, is now available online for viewers that don’t subscribe to a cable network. However, Duggar fans who want to view the family online will have to pay a price as sponsors for the show are dwindling.
The Duggar Family Blog notes that Jill & Jessa: Counting On is now available for viewing online. For those with cable, the Duggar mini-series airs on Sundays in December at 8:00 pm EST on TLC. However, for those without access to cable television or the TLC channel, the show can now be purchased on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon Instant Video. The cost of each episode is the same across all three platforms at $1.99 per episode for SD or $2.99 per episode for HD. For those making a purchase on iTunes or Google Play, the full “season,” which includes all three episodes, can be purchased for $4.99 in SD or $6.99 in HD.
The move to place Jill & Jessa: Counting On on the instant streaming platform is not unusual, and most of the TLC network series are available for streaming. However, the placement of the Duggar mini-series may be more vital for the Duggar family as it is giving Duggar fans the opportunity to help foot the bill for the series while sponsors are continuing to boycott the show.
The purchases on streaming video channels may be just what the Duggar family needs to encourage TLC to run a spin-off series of the previously cancelled 19 Kids and Counting. Following the numerous scandals involving oldest Duggar son Josh, the network pulled the long-running series and informed viewers that the show had been cancelled permanently. However, the relationships between the Duggars and TLC did not fizzle out, and a mini-series was launched just four months after the network’s vow to end the Duggar’s programming on their network.
However, the new series does not carry the original title or even feature the Duggar name. Instead, the series was slated to follow the most recently wed Duggars, Jill Dillard and Jessa Seewald. The choice to follow these two Duggars is telling as the girls no longer carry the Duggar last name. Was the network trying to distance themselves from the Duggar name while still capitalizing on the Duggar fan base? That is left up to fans to decide, but it didn’t seem to stop the family’s die-hard followers from tuning in the new program. The Jill & Jessa: Counting On premiere had a viewership of 2.2 million and was ranked 8th for Sunday night cable programming.
Though the Duggars received a significant amount of viewers despite the numerous boycotts, it is unclear if there were enough viewers for TLC to justify continuing the program after the mini-series ends. In fact, the network seemed to be struggling to find sponsors for the program and used the time slot to promote other TLC shows and local commercials rather than the usual national ad campaigns. In fact, the network had so much difficulty finding sponsors that it seemed as if they may have alienated at least two companies by airing commercials despite the companies specifically asking them not to air their ads during the Duggar time slot. The two companies in question are Ford Motor Company and Crayola, who claim they told TLC not to air their commercials during any Duggar programming, including Counting On. However, when the mini-series premiered, the network aired commercials for both companies against their will.
Do you think Duggar fans will purchase enough of the streaming content to make a Duggar series viable for the TLC network? Or is the Duggar family too much of a liability for the struggling network? What do you think the future holds for the Duggar family regarding television programming?
[Image via Instagram/ TLC]