The spin-off to 19 Kids and Counting, Jill & Jessa: Counting On, is facing yet another controversy following rumors that TLC is thinking of cancelling the show after several brands have pulled out their ads from the reality series. A new report suggests that the Duggar family has been following a script the entire time and even hiring actors along the way.
According to Duggar Family News: Life Is Not Pickles and Hairspray, via Radar Online, Eric, an Arkansas native, has come forward claiming that the Duggar family hired him to “play the role” of a man interested in buying a car on one of the episodes of Jill & Jessa: Counting On.
“A friend of mine works on the crew and invited me to play the role of ‘guy who wants to buy car,'” he said.
The outlet pointed out that this is not the first time that the Duggar family has been accused of faking the show to make it more interesting. Last December, the reality stars were under fire for allegedly staging a donation drive. Onlookers told the publication that when the cameras were turned off, the Duggar brothers took their donations back and placed it in their own SUV.
Those who watched 19 Kids and Counting and Jill & Jessa: Counting On do not seem at all surprised with news of the Duggar family faking scenes in front of the camera. They pointed out that most reality shows were actually scripted to begin with. Some also continued to appeal to TLC to cancel the show, adding that the Duggar family was setting a bad example to families.
“I’m shocked and horrified that TLC would lower themselves to this level. The entire family knows what the brother did and never said anything. This family is disgusting and nothing but liars and cheats. Please remove this show from the air!” a commenter wrote.
In spite of the backlash that the network is receiving from viewers and critics, Forbes reported that Jill & Jessa: Counting On was faring well in terms of viewership. It was said that the premiere episode of the 19 Kids and Counting spin-off drew in over 1.9 million viewers, while the three-part serial was watched by 3 million fans.
While these numbers are very impressive, the publication pointed out that companies still decided to pull out their ads thinking that ratings were not enough basis to risk damaging their reputations. According to In Touch Weekly, some of the brands who pulled out from Jill & Jessa: Counting On were Wrigley, Credit Karma, The UPS Store, and Verizon Wireless, among others.
“It was not our intention to advertise on the program. This specific program is [now] on our list of exclusions as well as any other potential Duggar programming,” a representative from the UPS store explained.
If this goes on, Forbes speculated that it will only be a matter of time before Jill & Jessa: Counting On gets canceled. The network should find a way to attract more advertisers, while keeping the audience interested. It was said that when TLC decided to cancel 19 Kids and Counting it cost them a whopping $19 million.
“Though Jill & Jessa: Counting On may continue to garner great ratings, the reality show will meet the same fate as 19 Kids And Counting if TLC cannot stop advertisers from leaving.”
Amidst the call for Jill & Jessa: Counting On to be canceled, and for brands to ultimately boycott the series, some companies continued to place ads on the show. According to Starcasm, Comcast/NBC Universal purchased three spots while Walt Disney and DirecTV purchased two spots. Only three non-TV and non-movie paid ads ran on the show, coming from Credit Repair Pros, Match.com, and Dole’s Fruitocracy.
Do you think TLC should cancel Jill & Jessa: Counting On following all these controversies? Tell us in the comments below.
[Image via TLC]