TLC is bringing the Duggars back to reality television. According to multiple media reports, TLC has announced plans to create several new specials featuring the controversial evangelical family from Arkansas.
Only months after scandal forced TLC to cancel the long-running reality hit “19 Kids and Counting,” the network is resuming its on-air relationship with the family of Christian extremists by starring daughters Jill and Jessa in two or more specials.
Associated Press reports production begins soon on the programs, announced Thursday, with an anticipated airdate by year-end for at least the first of them.
The specials will focus on Duggar daughters, Jessa (Duggar) Seewald and Jill (Duggar) Dillard. Both admitted during a Fox News interview that their older brother, Josh Duggar, had molested them as children.
Josh Duggar subsequently resigned from his post with the conservative Family Research Council and later admitted to cheating on his wife after being caught up in the aftermath of the Ashley Madison hack.
The Duggar Family Official Facebook page celebrate the announcement with the following statement:
We appreciate all the prayers for our family. God has drawn us closer to Him and to each other this summer. We are grateful that the new TLC specials set to air this fall will be sharing special moments with Jill, Derick and Israel on the foreign mission field and following Ben and Jessa as they prepare for the arrival of their first baby!
About the new programs, TLC Executive Vice President and General Manager Nancy Daniels told The Associated Press:
What we will be following in these specials is Jessa preparing for her first child, and we’ll be watching Jill preparing to make a major move to Central America with her family, which we know is something our audience will be interested in.
We know that our audience is really excited about what’s been going on with Jill and Jessa as they move into young adulthood. And now they’re both at the precipice of big changes. With what was happening in their lives in the next few months, it felt like now is the time (for the specials), and we got going pretty quickly.
There’s no doubt it’s been a tough few months on the family, and we’ve obviously been in close contact with them as they’ve been going through it.
TLC cancelled “19 Kids and Counting” after it was revealed that Josh Duggar, the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar, sexually assaulted four of his underage sisters plus an additional underage female victim.
Compounding and contributing to the crime, a “conspiracy to “forgive and forget” forged by the Duggar parents and church leaders allowed Josh Duggar to escape criminal prosecution for sexually assaulting his underage victims.
The disgraced Josh Duggar now admits to what police reports confirm: the oldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar forcibly fondled and sexually assaulted at least five underage girls, including four of his sisters, on multiple occasions, over the span of several years, while he was a teenager.
Earlier this year, while speaking with Megyn Kelly on Fox News, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar denied their son Josh was a pedophile and blamed the media for targeting the family in an anti-Christian conspiracy.
Last month reports circulated that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar were pitching a new reality show where they would counsel young victims of sexual abuse.
Bottom line: For TLC, Duggars mean money and ratings. Business is business.