NEW YORK – Is the Duggar family turning into Krypotonite for TLC?
A TLC promo that aired at a Discovery Communications press breakfast Thursday morning featured plenty of moments with “The Long Island Medium” and even Kate Gosselin, but included just a quick flash of Jessa Duggar, one of the stars of the “19 Kids and Counting” spinoff “Counting On.”
That may be because over a dozen advertisers have distanced themselves from the show. TLC General Manager Nancy Daniels acknowledged to FOX411 that some brands don’t want to be associated with the family. But she said the anti-Duggar faction is a “small, vocal group,” and there are “millions and millions of viewers” who want to tune in to see Jessa Seewald and Jill Dillard share their lives.
The Duggar sisters were sexually abused by their older brother Josh more than a decade ago when he was a teen—a fact that surfaced and led to the cancellation of “19 Kids” in July 2015.
Though the Duggars have a loyal fan base, it’s not enough to prompt the network to plan to put Josh Duggar back on the air—even though he’s been to rehab.
TLC doesn’t have “any other plans” for the Duggar family at this point, Daniels told the press on Thursday.
Another Discovery exec explained the thought process behind giving Jill and Jessa airtime even after the entire Duggar family was pushed off TV.
“We’ve been with Jill and Jessa [for years]… they had a tragedy in their lives when they were very young… these are two girls who were victims.”
TLC implied viewership for “Counting On” is high, but whether or not the series can survive if advertisers unceremoniously continue to drop it remains to be seen.
It’s possible the network doesn’t know what form its relationship with the famous family will take going forward.