The Duggar family has been spotted filming with a TLC camera crew, so it looks like the network has already decided that the Jill & Jessa: Counting On specials were successful enough to invite the Duggars to return to reality TV. However, the family's next appearance on TV won't be as riveting as the specials centered on Jill, Jessa, and Anna Duggar unless TLC makes the shocking decision to invite Josh Duggar to appear on the new show.
Jill & Jessa: Counting On featured a few moments that were must-see TV for fans of the Duggar family, including the very bloody birth of Jessa Duggar's first child and Anna Duggar's revelation that she would not be divorcing Josh Duggar after he admitted to cheating on her. All of the adult Duggar children also appeared on the show to share their thoughts and feelings about Josh's cheating and molestation scandals.
The Jill & Jessa: Counting On format was slightly different than that of the Duggar family's former reality show, 19 Kids and Counting – the three-part special was centered mostly on Jessa and Jill Duggar. Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar were also given very little screen time on the special, as were the younger Duggar children.
Now the Duggar Family News: Life is not all pickles and hairspray Facebook page is reporting that the Duggar family is working with TLC again, and it sounds like the network might be returning to the 19 Kids and Counting format – a TLC camera crew was recently spotted filming a mundane Duggar family outing much like those that were often shown on their reality show. 19 Kids and Counting was cancelled last July after it was discovered that Josh Duggar had sexually molested four of his younger sisters as a teenager, but perhaps TLC is bringing the show back.
"The Duggars were seen filming at a lumber yard last week in their area," the Pickles report reads. "Yes, filming. They spent three hours there and bought some lumber. That is the state of the Duggars. They're as exciting as a stack of wood."
TLC general manager Nancy Daniels spoke at a Television Critics Association panel last week, and she seemed pretty pleased with the amount of viewers who tuned in to watch Jill & Jessa: Counting On.
"We just aired a three-part special before the holidays that did very well. We had over 3 million viewers. The audience cares about these girls," Daniels said, according to Deadline.
When Daniels was asked about the Duggar family's future with TLC, she claimed that the network hadn't decided whether the Duggars would be invited to return to TV.
"We're still talking and considering it, but we have not made a decision yet," Daniels said, according to Variety. However, if cameras really were following the Duggar family around last week, it looks like TLC has already made its decision.
If TLC is planning on reviving 19 Kids and Counting or airing a special focused on the entire Duggar family, there's a reason why the network would want to keep such a project under wraps as long as possible. As the Hollywood Gossip points out, the Duggar family has plenty of adversaries ready and willing to take action to keep the Duggars off of TV. The #NoMoreDuggars: Contacting Sponsors Facebook group took aim at Jill & Jessa: Counting On by launching a campaign to get companies to pull their ads from the specials. The Contacting Sponsors group reports that its efforts paid off in a big way – over 900 businesses vowed not to advertise during the specials or any other shows starring the Duggars.
However, if TLC is currently filming the Duggar family, this is evidence the network managed to keep enough sponsors on board to make a profit off of the specials. According to Us Weekly, TLC lost over $19 million after it cancelled 19 Kids and Counting last summer, so it's not hard to see why the network is so desperate to keep working with the Duggars.
Now critics of the Duggar family may have to worry about Josh Duggar returning to TV. He's the only adult member of the family who hasn't publicly spoken about his two sex scandals that were such hot topics last year, and TLC would likely score a big ratings boost if it aired a special centered on the troubled eldest Duggar son. Josh Duggar wasn't around for the filming of the Jill & Jessa specials because he left home to spend six months in a faith-based treatment facility shortly after he admitted to cheating on his wife and being addicted to internet pornography. However, Josh might be back before the filming of the new Duggar family series/special wraps up.
Anna Duggar moved into the girls' dorm at Jim Bob and Michelle Duggars' house when Josh left, and she had a major presence in the Jill & Jessa specials. If Anna wants to continue appearing alongside her in-laws in future TLC specials or series centered on the Duggar family, TLC will have a difficult decision to make when Josh Duggar gets back home in February – the network can either make things awkward by completely avoiding him, or risk angering viewers by making him a reality star again.
[Image via Duggar Family Official Facebook]