19 Kids and Counting canceled following Josh Duggar child molestation scandal
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 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:
In May, an unearthed police report revealed that Josh Duggar had been investigated in 2006 for molesting five underage girls as a teen.
Days later, TLC pulled 19 Kids and Counting reruns from air but were tight-lipped about the future of the show moving forward as advertisers continued to drop out.
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.”