TLC has canceled “19 Kids and Counting” following star Josh Duggar’s molestation scandal, the network announced on Thursday.
“After thoughtful consideration, TLC and the Duggar family have decided to not move forward with ’19 Kids and Counting,” the network said on Thursday. “The show will no longer appear on the air.”
Preceding the announcement, the cable channel disclosed it will run a one-hour special featuring Jill and Jessa Duggar, as well as other survivors and families affected, as part an initiative to raise awareness about child abuse.
“The recent attention around the Duggars has sparked a critical and important conversation about child protection,” the network continued its statement.
The two Duggar women were among five victims molested by Josh Duggar when he was a teenager. The scandal forced his resignation from the position he held with the Family Research Council when it first broke in May.
“19 Kids & Counting,” which premiered in 2008 — at the time, it was “17 Kids & Counting” — centered on the Arkansas-based Duggar family, which includes parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 19 children.
Here is the full statement from TLC:
After thoughtful consideration, TLC and the Duggar family have decided to not move forward with 19 Kids and Counting. The show will no longer appear on the air.
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.