TLC has officially canceled 19 Kids and Counting, EW can confirm.
The reality show that centered on the expansive Duggar clan of Tontitown, Arkansas, “will no longer appear on the air,” reads a network statement first released to the Associated Press.
The timing of the news appeared to be a strategic move on part of the network, given that it broke just one hour before Emmy nominations would dominate the news cycle.
Read TLC’s full statement on the cancelation here, which also announces an upcoming one-hour documentary which will address the issue of childhood sexual abuse. The special will feature Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard, who came forward last month as two of their brother’s victims.
The recent attention around the Duggars has sparked a critical and important conversation about child protection.
Over these past weeks, TLC has consulted regularly with leading victims’ rights and advocacy organizations in the U.S., including RAINN and Darkness to Light, to discuss how to use this moment to address the issue and make a positive impact. Unfortunately, child sexual abuse is not an isolated issue; it affects many children and families around the world. To that end, we are partnering with both organizations on a multi-platform campaign to raise awareness and educate parents and families about the issue. In the first phase of this initiative, TLC will work closely with both groups and with the Duggar family on a one-hour documentary that will include Jill and Jessa and other survivors and families that have been affected by abuse.
TLC has been especially concerned for the victims in this situation, including the Duggar family, and it is our hope that this effort will help those in need learn where to turn for information and help. The documentary will be commercial-free, and we anticipate it will air later this summer.
The Duggar family has also released their own statement, writing that they’re “looking forward” to the upcoming documentary and that it is their hope it “will be an encouragement to many.”
Read their full statement here, as seen on their official website:
Today, TLC announced that they will not be filming new episodes of 19 Kids and Counting.
Years ago, when we were asked to film our first one hour documentary about the logistics of raising 14 children, we felt that it was an opportunity to share with the world that children are a blessing and a gift from God.
We are so thankful for our film crew that has shown up at our house for over a decade. They have become like family to us. They have invested their time and energy into our lives and have been so loving and patient. We love and appreciate them so much!
Over the last several years people have said to us, “We love your show!” We have always responded, “It’s not a show, it’s our lives!” Our desire in opening our home to the world is to share Bible principles that are the answers for life’s problems.
With God’s grace and help Josh, our daughters and our entire family overcame a terrible situation, found healing and a way forward. We are so pleased with the wonderful adults they have all become.
It is our prayer that the painful situation our family went through many years ago can point people toward faith in God and help others who also have lived through similar dark situations to find help, hope and healing, as well.
We appreciate the love, support, prayers and kindness extended to us by many of you. You have deeply touched our hearts and encouraged us, during this time.
God’s faithfulness and goodness to us, along with His abundant grace have given us strength and joy even in the most difficult days.
We have committed to Him that in all things—difficulties or success, good times or bad—we will purpose to bring Him honor by staying true to our faith and our family.
We look forward to working with TLC on this upcoming special documentary and hope that it is an encouragement to many.
We know Who holds the future and are confident that He will work all things together for good.
We love each of you and look forward to unfolding the future with peace and joy.
Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar family
In May, an unearthed police report revealed that Josh Duggar had been investigated in 2006 for molesting five underage girls as a teen.
In an interview with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, Jessa Duggar Seewald and Jill Duggar Dillard, Josh’s sisters, insisted that they had forgiven their brother long ago. “Josh was a boy, a young boy in puberty and a little too curious about girls, and that got him into some trouble,” said Jessa, 22. “And he made some bad choices, but, really, the extent of it was mild — inappropriate touching on fully clothed victims, most of it while [the girls] were sleeping.”
With the future of the show up in the air at the time, Seewald said that life would “go on” if 19 Kids was canceled. “We’re not a TV family. We’re just a family that happened to be on TV.”