If you’re wondering why the Jessa Seewald-Jill Dillard “19 Kids and Counting” spinoff show didn’t come to fruition, you may want to ask Jim Bob Duggar.
Following TLC’s decision to pull, but not officially cancel, the Duggar family’s reality series in May, rumors began swirling that newlywed Duggar daughters Jessa, 22, and Jill, 24, were in talks to star in their own show. The speculated series, which would reportedly follow the sisters and their new families, never came to fruition. People is now reporting that their dad, Jim Bob, may be the reason why the show idea was nixed.
“He absolutely wanted to be back on TV and was never thrilled about the show suddenly shifting focus," a source told the magazine.
But don’t get out your pitchforks just yet “19 Kids” fans! The magazine reports that Jill’s decision to leave the mainland for an extended mission trip also played a role in the series idea falling flat. “And what that, one half of any potential new show was gone,” an insider said when speaking on Jill’s leave. The reality star left for Central America with her husband, Derick Dillard, and their 3-month-old son, Israel David, on July 6.
While a Jessa-Jill show may not be coming to TLC, fans of the Duggars can expect the duo to appear in an upcoming documentary on the network. Following TLC’s announcement that they will not be airing future episodes of “19 Kids” on July 16, in light of Josh Duggar’s sexual abuse scandal, the network revealed they were working on an adolescent sexual abuse documentary. Jessa and Jill, both victims of Josh’s “innapropriate touching” several years ago, will star. The network has also partnered with two child-protection organizations to help raise awareness for the cause.
“They’re happy to show that this did not scar them permanently,” a source told People of the sisters.
“19 Kids” supporters also have Jessa’s birth to look forward to in the coming year. The 22-year-old is due to deliver her first child of an undetermined gender on Nov. 1. The date also marks her and Ben’s one-year wedding anniversary.