It’s official: TLC has pulled the plug on 19 Kids and Counting. They’ve also announced plans for a partnership with organizations RAINN and Darkness to Light, as well as a documentary special on child molestation that’ll include Jill and Jessa Duggar.
That’s according to the AP. TLC won’t do an eleventh season and the show “will no longer appear on the air.” And in a move that screams damage control (but will hopefully be handled sensitively and help some people), the network also announced that:
It has teamed with two prominent child-protection organizations for an ongoing campaign to raise awareness about child sexual abuse.
The multi-platform initiative will begin with a one-hour, commercial-free documentary likely airing in late August, the network said. It will include the participation of Jill and Jessa Duggar, two of the sisters Josh Duggar touched inappropriately, as well as other survivors and families affected by such abuse.
“The documentary will be commercial free, and we anticipate it will air later this summer,” said TLC in its official statement.
Their partners will be RAINN and Darkness to Light. “We anticipate this will be a long-term partnership with them,” said TLC’s Marjorie Kaplan. RAINN also released a statement, saying that, “We are pleased to be partnering with TLC to fight child sexual abuse, and appreciate its efforts to spur a national dialogue about this issue.” The organization added: “Together, we believe we can help families that have been affected by this terrible crime and make sure that parents and others have the knowledge and tools they need to help keep kids safe.”
The AP also notes that “TLC is in the midst of repositioning itself as ‘a brand with purpose,’ said Kaplan.”
Update, 11:42 am: The Duggars have also released a statement about the announcements, thanking the 19 Kids TV crew very specifically and going heavy on the references to His grace:
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 look forward to working with TLC on this upcoming special documentary and hope that it is an encouragement to many,” the statement adds.
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Image via AP.