Is Josh Duggar making a return to TV via his sisters' show, Counting On? According to reports, the Duggar family is considering slowly re-introducing the disgraced oldest Duggar child to TV, following falling ratings for Counting On and a desire to make him relevant again.
As In Touch Weekly reports, an insider source, speaking on condition of anonymity, says that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar want their son back before the TV cameras.
— Lights and Spectacle (@_LEspectacle) May 10, 2017
The reason, says the source, is that the ratings for Counting On are slipping, and bringing Josh back into the mix may help revive those ratings. That's especially important right now, says the source, because Counting On is the family's only source of income.
Counting On (or, as it was initially known, Jill and Jessa: Counting On) ostensibly follows the lives of two of Josh's younger sisters as they raise families of their own. Originally, TLC showed all of the Duggars -- mom Michelle, dad Jim Bob, plus Josh and all of his younger siblings -- on 19 Kids and Counting. However, 19 Kids was canceled in 2015, after news broke that Josh had molested two of his sisters when he was a teenager. That news was followed a few weeks later by revelations that Josh had been a member of cheating website Ashley Madison.
Following the cancellation of 19 Kids, two things happened. First, the Duggar family essentially removed Josh from their media presence, shuffling him off to a Christian rehab facility and then just not talking about him anymore. Second, fans of the Duggars made their voices heard, telling TLC they're still interested in the Arkansas family's comings and goings. Counting On emerged as something of a compromise, giving viewers their weekly dose of Duggars without focusing on Josh.
That was two years ago, and now, it appears, is the time for the family to re-introduce Josh. They just had to convince TLC to allow it, says the source.
"[Jim Bob] spent a month trying to convince TLC that Josh should be back on the show. They finally caved and agreed to let him film an upcoming Counting On webisode where he'll talk about his joy at learning he's going to be a father again. He'll appear on the next season of Counting On."
So is In Touch Weekly's source correct in that Counting On's ratings are falling and the family needs Josh to boost the show's ratings for money?
— Thisiss News (@Thisiss_News) April 28, 2017
Whether the Duggar family as a whole needs that Counting On money depends largely on who you ask. Jim Bob and Michelle are popular speakers and presumably do quite well on the lecture circuit. Jim Bob was also a successful real estate agent before 19 Kids and has written a couple of books, so it's likely the elder Duggars aren't hurting.
Josh Duggar, however, almost certainly needs the money. The molestation and cheating scandals not only cost Josh his 19 Kids job, but they also cost him a promising career in politics (prior to his downfall, Josh had worked in the Arkansas House of Representatives and for a national conservative think-tank). With his poisoned reputation keeping him out of politics, and with a lack of marketable job skills, Josh wound up slugging it out as a used-car salesman -- and he's apparently a terrible used-car salesman, according to Radar Online.
Do you believe that Josh Duggar should be allowed to return to TV via Counting On?
[Featured Image by Danny Johnston/File/AP Images]