Things are not looking too good for "19 Kids and Counting." Following Josh Duggar’s admission last week that he molested five underage girls in 2002 and 2003, TLC temporarily pulled the Duggar family's hit reality series from airwaves. While the network has yet to announce their official decision on the future of the long-running program, several advertisers have separated themselves from the show. Hulu has also pulled the series from its streaming site. So what’s in store for “19 Kids and Counting”?
On Wednesday, People reported that a source close to the situation had revealed TLC was considering making a “19 Kids and Counting” spinoff. The new series would reportedly follow Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s two married daughters, Jill Dillard, 24, and Jessa Seewald, 22. While neither the Duggar family nor TLC has confirmed the rumor, the speculation has gotten some viewers talking.
If TLC decided to overlook the controversy surrounding the Duggars – and viewers decided to still tune in -- they could have a big hit on their hands with a new show just featuring the Duggar women and their growing families. While Jim Bob and Michelle were originally the stars of “19 Kids and Counting,” in more recent years, it’s their children who have slowly taken over the series. Weekly episodes had impressive ratings, but the ratings were nothing in comparison to the amount of viewers Jill and Jessa brought in for their special Season 9 episodes.
According to TLC, Jill and Derick Dillard’s wedding special took in “record ratings” in October. The episode, titled “Jill's Wedding,” reportedly garnered 4.4 million viewers, making it the highest-rated, most-watched episode in the 10-year history of “19 Kids and Counting." The episode was also TLC’s highest-rated telecast in four years. The installment was so popular, in fact, its rating were higher than FX’s hit drama “Sons of Anarchy.”
The arrival of Jill and Derick’s first-born son, Israel David, on the May 5 episode of "19 Kids and Counting” also brought in impressive viewership. TLC reported that Jill’s delivery special, which featured her 70-hour labor and eventual C-section, drew 3.6 million viewers.
While Jessa and Ben Seewald’s wedding episode did not garner equal ratings to Jill and Derick's – Zap2It reports their March 31 episode drew 3.5 million viewers – Jessa has become a notable member of the Duggar clan in the past year. Since announcing her engagement to Ben, now 20, in August, she has graced several magazine covers. When she confirmed she was pregnant with her first child last month, her celebrity only continued to grow.
With the arrival of Ben and Jessa's first child on the horizon, not to mention the Dillards' desire to have “as many kids as God will give” them, there is no doubt TLC will have plenty of footage if they decide to move forward with a spinoff.
Do you think TLC should make a “19 Kids and Counting” spinoff? Take our poll below: