TV

When stars split up on TV

Stars break up and make up all the time, but things get more complicated when cameras are rolling. Some stars have landed shows solely based on being part of a couple and then that relationship has crumbled as an audience tunes in. In some cases, the shows shut down, other times they thrive. Here's what happens when stars break up on TV:

  • 1. The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour

    The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour

    The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour

    The show: “Sonny & Cher” premiered on CBS in 1971 and starred Sonny Bono and Cher. It was a constant ratings hit. The series was an American variety show with comedy sketches and songs from the duo. Sonny and Cher were married in 1964.

    The breakup: The couple began having marital problems in 1972 but the news became public in 1974 when Sonny filed for separation citing irreconcilable differences. Cher then countered with a divorce suit charging her husband with “involuntary servitude.” 

    Cancellation: After four seasons and 63 episodes, the show was cancelled in May 1974 due to the couple’s divorce, but it attempted to make a comeback in 1976.  The pair then tried to reconnect for “The Sonny & Cher Show,” but the new series couldn’t find the success of the original and it lasted only one year. 

  • 2. Little People, Big World

    The show: “Little People, Big World” follows the Roloff family — Amy and Matt, who have dwarfism along with one of their four children. The show has done extremely well for TLC. The eighth season finale, where Amy and Matt’s son Jeremy married his longtime girlfriend, brought in 2.3 million viewers. 

    The breakup: In 2015, Amy and Matt announced after 27 years of marriage they were divorcing. Even though the two are no longer together, they live on the same property, and Amy has begun to embrace her singleness and start dating again. 

    What happened on TV? In 2010, TLC announced the sixth season would be the last but then in 2013, but the show returned for a seventh season. The show has maintained a strong viewership, and is in its 11th season  on TLC...the divorce didn't hold them back. 

  • 3. Khloé & Lamar

    Khloé & Lamar

    Associated Press

    The show: Reality star Khloe Kardashian and NBA star Lamar Odom starred in a spin-off of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” on E! Kardashian, no stranger to the cameras, allowed an even closer look into her life and marriage to Odom.  After dating for three weeks, Odom proposed and the two planned a wedding in nine days. The wedding was taped for a special episode. Khloe’s brother Rob, best friend Malika and Lamar’s friend Jamie were often featured on the show.

    The breakup: In 2013, Kardashian filed for divorce after months of speculation. In 2015, Odom was found unconscious at a brothel in Las Vegas and faced serious medical conditions. Kardashian stood by his side and made his medical decisions although the two were separated. Their divorce was finalized this month.

    What happened on TV? The final and second season of the series was in 2012. Rumors that Odom wanted to stop the show and focus on his basketball career while Kardashian wanted to continue filming. Odom told Entertainment Tonight that the two wanted to be happy and would get back into the show when it was time, but the series couldn’t survive their split. Still, the pair hasn’t kicked the reality TV cameras out of their lives. They have been featured on 2016 episodes of “Keeping Up with the Kardashians.”  

  • 4. Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica

    Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica

    X17

    The show: Pop superstar Jessica Simpson and husband Nick Lachey launched into stardom with a show that followed their marriage and gave a personal glimpse into their lives. The two met at the Hollywood Christmas Parade in 1998 and married in 2002. The show was a hit for MTV that lasted for three seasons and captured Simpson’s silly stereotypical “blonde” moments.  The show quickly made the two household names. Simpson told People in 2003, when the show began, the show was going to document everything as husband and wife but no sex scenes because “that’s just cheesy.”

    The breakup: After more than a decade together the pair split up in 2005. Rumors swirled as to why the couple divorced—some say Lachey was blindsided by Simpson’s decision to ask for a divorce. Others reported she was sick of her husband’s partying ways. The two released an amicable statement and each eventually married other people. Today Lachey has two children with wife Vanessa Lachey and is expecting a third. Simpson married NFL player Eric Johnson and has two kids. 

    What happened on TV? The same year Nick and Jess split, the show was cancelled. 

  • 5. Jon and Kate Plus 8

    Jon and Kate Plus 8

    The Associated Press

    The show: Jon and Kate Gosselin captured America’s attention when Discovery and then TLC followed husband and wife and their eight children.  

    The breakup: In 2009, the two announced their separation after 10 years of marriage in one of their last episodes. A week before, TLC announced the Gosselins would be making an important announcement during the episode. Jon announced the two were separating. Kate insisted the pressures of the fame were not the cause of marital problems.  

    What happened on TV? “Jon and Kate Plus 8” was renamed as “Kate Plus 8” in 2010 and focused on Kate raising the pair's eight children. A second season of the show aired in 2011 and the network announced they were cancelling the series. However in 2014, the show returned and the fifth season premiered in November. 

  • 6. Flip or Flop

    Flip or Flop

    HGTV

    The show: "Flip or Flop" premiered in 2013 and focuses on professional home flippers Tarek and Christina El Moussa as they purchase dilapidated homes and attempt to turn them around for a profit. 

    The breakup: On Dec. 12, 2016, the El Moussas announced they were splitting up after an attention-grabbing argument in May. Police were called to their home over what the couple called an "unfortunate misunderstanding."

    What happened on TV? The pair and HGTV promised that despite their split they would continue to work together professionally and film more episodes of the hit show. 

  • You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.