While TLC has yet to tell Duggar family fans (and even reportedly the Duggars themselves) whether Jill & Jessa: Counting On will be back for a third season, the stars of 19 Kids & Counting have taken the matter into their own hands. The Duggar family has started to appeal to their large fan base and are trying to trend the hashtag “#BringtheDuggarsBack” to show TLC just how much their fans want them back on television airwaves.
Although the Duggar family claims on its blog that they haven’t received any word from TLC, it’s possible the reality stars already have hints there won’t be another season and are using the hashtag to convince TLC they’re still immensely popular. But they have a lot of convincing to do because popular shows aren’t just about the viewers.
While Jill & Jessa: Counting On had high ratings, premiering to about 1.9 million viewers and consistently held its audience throughout each episode, the damage from the Josh Duggar scandals was already done. Jill & Jessa: Counting On failed to secure happy sponsors, and after the first episode, many long-time TLC advertisers publicly denounced any affiliation with the new show, even though Josh Duggar didn’t make an appearance.
Cici’s Pizza was one advertiser that took issue with their commercials airing during the show about the Duggar family, and after viewers complained to them, the restaurant chain “took immediate action to stop it.” In a statement released to customers, the pizza giant confirmed that “Cici’s prides itself on being a family-friendly restaurant,” and explained that they purchased advertising space from TLC but didn’t deliberately choose to advertise while Jill & Jessa: Counting On aired.
“We recently made a large advertising buy on cable television that spanned several networks but did not target any particular program,” the restaurant confirmed, but “[w]hen we learned one of our ads was placed adjacent to controversial programming, we took immediate action to stop it.”
Similarly, the UPS Store pulled their ads from airing during the Duggar family show after complaints from customers, confirming that “[t]his specific program is [now] on our list of exclusions as well as any other potential Duggar programming.” It’s not clear whether TLC can get advertisers for a third season of Jill & Jessa: Counting On, which is likely what’s stopping the network from giving another season the green light.
Although it’s not clear who started the #BringtheDuggarsBack” campaign, sources believe it was the Duggar family itself trying to prove to TLC that they’re still relevant and trending. The hashtag started appearing on social media posts connected to the Duggars, but according to insiders, it has failed to trend on the web.
In another attempt to connect with their fan base, the Duggars have asked their viewers to contact them if they ever met anyone from the Duggar family. On their blog, the reality stars urged followers to “[e]mail us (DuggarFamilyBlog@gmail.com) a description of the time you spent with them, along with any pictures you took, and we might just post it to the blog. Ready, Set, Go!”
While the Duggar family has struggled to get their viewers on board to convince TLC to air a third season, industry insiders believe that the silence from the network means they’ve just decided it’s too much trouble and negative press to continue to air shows featuring the Duggar family. Since their show 19 Kids & Counting was cancelled, the Duggar family has reportedly lost millions of dollars in revenue, which included salaries from their show, product endorsements, speaking engagements, and book deals.
What do you think? Will TLC bring the Duggar family back for another season of Jill & Jessa: Counting On? Leave a comment below!
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