The Duggar family is returning to TV next week, but the stars of 19 Kids and Counting aren’t going to be the center of attention for once. In fact, they might get very little screentime on the show that they’re appearing on.
Once upon a time, the Duggars helped another family with 19 kids, the Bateses, gain a little fame by inviting them to occasionally appear on 19 Kids and Counting. Now, the Bates family has their own reality show on UPtv, Bringing Up Bates, and it pretty much follows the same formula as the Duggar family’s now-defunct TV series: Courtships, weddings, and babies always get the special treatment.
Next week’s episode of Bringing Up Bates will be focused on Michaella “Michael” Bates’ and Brandon Keilen’s wedding, an event that the Duggar family attended. Jana Duggar was actually one of Michaella’s bridesmaids, so she’ll likely appear on the February 4 Bringing Up Bates wedding special. In fact, she can be seen posing for wedding photos in a teaser clip that SheKnows recently posted.
Michaella Bates’ wedding took place on August 15 of last year, which was a tumultuous time for the Duggar family. As ABC News reports, the Duggars’ own reality show had been cancelled a month earlier, and the presence of the UPtv cameras at Michaella’s wedding was probably a painful reminder of what the 19 Kids and Counting stars had just lost. TLC made the decision to cancel 19 Kids after it was discovered that Josh Duggar had sexually molested four of his sisters and another young girl as a teenager.
A source close to Bates and Duggar families told the Daily Mail that Michaella Bates’ father, Gil, was worried that Jim Bob Duggar wouldn’t be able to behave himself at the wedding.
“While the Duggar family is invited to the wedding, the Bates don’t want them causing controversy or trying to hijack the wedding for their own agenda. It will be interesting to see if they get left on the cutting room floor in the editing room, or if Jim Bob will use it as an opportunity for himself and his family.”
The entire Duggar family, including Josh Duggar, reportedly took a road trip to Knoxville, Tennessee, to attend the televised event. However, Josh can’t be seen in any of the wedding photos floating around online.
One of Josh’s molestation victims, Jill Duggar Dillard, was photographed at the event, and her presence there also stirred up a bit of controversy. According to ET Online, Jill and her husband, Derick Dillard, were criticized for taking a break from their mission trip in Central America to attend the wedding. They were accused of treating their mission work like a paid vacation, and there was speculation that the couple was using donated funds to fly back and forth between the States and El Salvador. In a post on the Dillard Family Blog, Jill Duggar didn’t deny these accusations, but she did reveal that she didn’t just come back home to attend a wedding — she also came back to appear in TLC’s documentary about sexual abuse, Breaking the Silence. This was the start of the Duggar family rebuilding its relationship with TLC.
“When we were first invited to our friend, Michaella Bates’, wedding we didn’t think we were going to be able to make it,” Jill wrote. “But once we realized that we needed to make a trip back to the States to do some filming for the upcoming TLC documentary, we were thrilled that the dates coincided with that of the wedding!”
When the Bringing Up Bates wedding special airs next week, it might remind the Duggar family of how terrible things were for them at the time. However, the Duggars won’t have to deal with TV envy anymore — TLC eventually renewed its relationship with the controversial family by gifting them with Jill & Jessa: Counting On, a three-part special that aired last December. As the Inquisitr previously reported, the Duggars are already filming with TLC again, and there’s a chance that the network is going to bring 19 Kids and Counting back.
Do you think the Duggar family will get a lot of screentime on the Bringing Up Bates wedding special when it airs next Thursday?
[Image via Duggar Family Official Facebook]