There was probably a time that whenever a Duggar popped out a kid, TLC heard a little cash register “cha-ching” sound. Because Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar’s faith-based refusal to wrap it up was big business for TLC for a very long time, starting with 17 Kids and Counting, then 18 Kids and Counting, 19 Kids and Counting, and finally, the spin-off centered on their rapidly reproducing spawn, Counting On. But then TLC went from counting kids to counting how many awful allegations were being made against Josh Duggar and that kind of killed the whole vibe of the show. And since the only thing Josh should be counting on at the moment is how many years he might get behind bars, TLC has decided to cancel the show.
Counting On was created in the wake of Josh Duggar’s molestation scandal back in 2015. Josh admitted to molesting 5 young girls, including some of his sisters, and TLC quickly pulled the plug on 19 Kids and Counting. But then they greenlit Jill & Jessa: Counting On, a series that was originally focused on Jill Duggar Dillard and her younger sister Jessa Seewald and their families. Eventually, the show was re-titled to Counting On, and the cast was expanded to include Jinger Vuolo and her family, and Josiah Duggar and his wife. I guess TLC’s memory must have been a little hazy because they eventually brought back Josh Duggar, his wife Anna Duggar, and his family. After Josh and Anna announced they were expecting their 7th child, Josh was arrested and charged with receiving and possessing child pornography. Counting On wrapped its 11th season back in September, but TLC won’t be filming any new episodes, and it’s all because of Josh’s charges. via Us Weekly:
“TLC will not be producing additional seasons of Counting On,” the network said in a statement to Us Weekly. “TLC feels it is important to give the Duggar family the opportunity to address their situation privately.”
Josh is due in court on July 6th to begin his trial. If he’s found guilty, he could face up to 40 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. But if you ask Anna, she might tell you that there’s no way Josh is facing anything but a hot tray of celebratory Tater Tot sandwiches when he beats this thing, because she reportedly believes that Josh is 100% innocent.
Jill Duggar Dillard quit the show after the 6th season (and subsequently quit her family so she could wear pants and take birth control), so she hasn’t said anything about the end of the Duggar’s last remaining gravy train. Jessa hasn’t yet commented on the cancellation, but Jinger released this statement thanking TLC for making the show possible, and agreeing with the decision to cancel it.
TLC says they’re ending the show because they believe the family should be handling things privately. But when has professional ethics ever stopped TLC before when it comes to this family? Let’s be realistic here: is the show ending because it’s too hard to film Josh and his family when he’s currently not allowed to live in his house? But when Josh’s trial is all over, what then? Why do I get the feeling that TLC will be willing to fire up the cameras if Josh somehow manages to come out of this without a prison sentence? “Josh, let’s try this again, and PLEASE don’t do anything to make us look like suckers for the third time??”