Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth’s wedding special was the fifth such television event for the Duggar family. TLC teased the two-hour Counting On episode all season long with footage of the couple preparing for for their wedding, but did the build up to their big day result in a ratings bonanza?
According to Zap2it, 1.3 million viewers tuned in to watch Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth walk down the aisle in “Joy and Austin Tie the Knot.” This was a slight gain from the 1.1 million fans who viewed the previous week’s episode, “Tomboy Joy.” However, the viewership for each Duggar wedding special has declined ever since Jill became the first female member of the family to tie the knot in 2014.
A member of the Free Jinger web community recently compiled a list of the ratings for all of the Duggar family’s wedding specials, beginning with Josh and Anna Duggar’s 2008 nuptials. According to a Discovery Communications newsletter, “A Very Duggar Wedding” aired on TLC back when the Duggars’ reality series was officially titled 18 Kids and Counting. Josh and Anna’s special event attracted 3.2 million viewers, more than twice as many as Joy-Anna and Austin’s wedding episode.
However, Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard can still boast having the most-viewed wedding special. As reported by Deadline, 4.4 million curious fans tuned in to “Jill’s Wedding” to see what the second-oldest Duggar daughter’s big day would be like. Jessa Duggar’s 19 Kids and Counting wedding episode aired just four months after Jill’s did, and viewership of her special almost matched that of her older sister’s. According to Futon Critic, 4.3 million viewers watched Jessa wed Ben Seewald in “Jessa’s Wedding.”
There was a significant drop in viewership when TLC aired Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo’s wedding special. Theirs was the first to air on the network after 19 Kids and Counting was cancelled and replaced with Counting On, a reboot of the Duggars’ reality show that does not include Josh Duggar. The focus of Counting On has also been shifted away from Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and onto their adult children.
Jinger Duggar and Jeremy Vuolo’s two-hour wedding special, “The Big Day,” was watched by almost 1.4 million viewers, according to Showbuzz Daily. However, TLC had changed up the way it covered Duggar nuptials, and most viewers had already watched the couple walk down the aisle just a few weeks earlier in a Counting On episode titled “Jinger’s Wedding.” As reported by the Hollywood Gossip, many viewers complained about TLC’s decision to show the wedding twice. However, their unhappiness was only slightly reflected in the ratings, with 1.8 million fans tuning in for Jinger’s first wedding episode.
TLC also decided to film a shorter wedding episode for Joy-Anna Duggar and Austin Forsyth titled “Joy’s Wedding.” It aired on June 12 and attracted 274,000 more viewers than the couple’s two-hour wedding special, which aired on October 16. On the Counting On Facebook page, fans expressed their displeasure with TLC for spending an entire season focusing on Joy-Anna’s wedding preparations after they’d already seen her walk down the aisle.
“Ok we’ve seen the wedding for the 2nd time. This season has been about Joy, I think it’s time to move on. It’s been outplayed,” wrote one viewer.
“When do we get to see Joe and Kendra’s wedding! We already saw Joy and Austin, love them to death but how many episodes can we repeat the same content?” another commented.
Luckily for fans who have gotten their fill of Joy-Anna Duggar’s wedding, TLC will give them a first look at the most recent Duggar nuptials next week. According to the Duggar Family Blog, “Joseph’s Wedding” airs October 23 at 9 p.m. on TLC. Perhaps the marriage of a Duggar son is just what the family needs to turn their wedding ratings decline around.
[ Featured Image by Austin and Joy Forsyth/Instagram]