On Friday, TLC announced that it would stop airing rerun episodes of it’s hit reality series “19 Kids and Counting,” in light of Josh Duggar’s molestation scandal. According to a new report “19 Kids and Counting” may survive the molestation scandal, but Josh and his family might get the ax.
The network made the announcement on its Facebook page Friday afternoon, telling viewers, “Effective immediately, TLC has pulled all episodes of 19 Kids and Counting currently from the air. We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time.”
Josh Duggar, 27, has been accused of molesting five underage girls in incidents that occurred in 2002. The police records indicate Josh’s dad, Jim Bob Duggar, was aware of the incidents but waited more than a year before contacting authorities.
Connected industry sources tell TMZ, the network is weighing its options, a) cancel the show outright or b) continue on without Josh and Ann Duggar. Supposedly, TLC feels cutting Josh and Ann wouldn’t be a stretch since the couple moved their family from Arkansas to Washington, DC when Josh took a job with a conservative Christian lobbying group. Josh, who is expecting his fourth child with wife Anna, resigned Thursday from his position with the Family Research Council so the possibility of him moving back to Arkansas is likely. On the flip side, TLC knows the show has a loyal fundamentalist base and since the scandal broke support has not wavered so the odds of canceling outright doesn’t look probable.
A source claims, TLC is strongly pushing towards cutting Josh. “We’re told TLC has done research and it shows the daughters have become the driving force. The weddings of Jill and Jessa were ratings successes, as was the birth of Jill’s baby.”
The main concern for the network are big advertisers pulling out and the ball has already started rolling with General Mills being the first to sever ties from the show.