The Duggar family took to Facebook on Saturday to confirm Counting On’s date of return to television. Fans could not help but notice Derick Dillard and Jill Duggar’s absence from the promo image.
The seventh season of the TLC show is expected to feature a special episode on Joseph Duggar and Kendra Caldwell’s wedding, in addition to documenting Joy-Anna Duggar’s pregnancy. Joy and Austin building their new home, their honeymoon in Switzerland as well Joseph and Kendra’s honeymoon in Greece, besides their pregnancy announcement, are likely to be part of the upcoming season. With Jinger Duggar’s pregnancy and Josaiah Duggar’s courtship announcement also coming this month, it is highly likely these Duggar family developments may be featured when Counting On returns February 26.
One event that is unlikely to air next season is Joy-Anna Duggar giving birth. Though she has not revealed her due date, various sources claiming close links with the family have said Joy is due around the end of February or in the first week of March just when Counting On Season 7 premieres.
TLC and the Duggar family may reserve baby Forsyth’s birth and Josiah Duggar’s courtship for the fall season later this year when Jinger Duggar is scheduled to give birth.
The date of the show’s return in February was leaked earlier, but an official confirmation had not been made until the Duggar family provided a promo image.
Fans lost no time in pointing out that Jill Duggar and her husband were missing from the image, and many expressed disappointment over the Dillards not being featured.
“You can believe multiple spouses are fine and get a show on TLC. You can believe it is fine for a boy to live as a girl and have a show on TLC. You CANNOT voice your deeply held beliefs based on Biblical principles and remain on a show on TLC,” goes one comment, echoing several other similar comments.
Many also claimed that Dillards’ ouster from the show had nothing to do with Derick airing his views on gender or his rights to free speech, but were likely a consequence of violating terms of an employment contract. Neither TLC nor members of the Dillard/Duggar family have expounded on the exit, though both sides confirmed it.
TLC announced in November, according to USA Today, it does not plan to feature the Dillards in the future. The television network, which has been associated with the Duggar family for over a decade, distanced itself from Derick’s views on gender.
The Duggar son-in-law aired his views while allegedly targeting transgender teen Jazz Jennings, also a fellow TLC star of the show I am Jazz. Counting On followers learned the reason for TLC not featuring the birth of Derick and Jill Duggar’s second son, Samuel Dillard, when the television network announced it had not featured Derick Dillard last season.