Counting On: Are The Duggars Facing Cancelation Due to Plummeting Ratings?
At this point, the Duggars oversee a multi-faceted business empire with controlling interests in fields as wide-ranging as social media influence peddling and used car sales.
In other words, despite Jim Bob’s alleged hoarding and an ever-growing number of mouths to feed, the Duggars will be just fine, financially speaking, for the foreseeable future.
But their considerable wealth, doesn’t appear to have made the Duggars reckless with their spending.
Quite the opposite, in fact, as the family seems to be forever in search of the next profitable venture, whether legitimate (Tontitown locals say Jim Bob is always buying up new property to “flip”) or otherwise (Jill and Derick Dillard’s donation requests have drawn the ire of fans and gotten the couple kicked off of fundraising sites).
But while their sights are always set on the next investment, the Duggars are said to be ever mindful of where it all began and all too aware that they’d likely be in dire financial straits, were it not for their involvement in the world of reality television.
Things started off modestly, of course, with a one-off TLC special entitled 17 Kids and Counting.
As public interest in the Duggars grew, so did the family, with 19 Kids and Counting eventually becoming one of the most talked about reality series on TV.
But the Duggars time at the top was short-lived, and the revelation that eldest son Josh Duggar had molested five young girls and been aided by his parents in hiding his crimes from authorities.
The show began to hemorrhage viewers and advertisers until TLC was finally forced to cancel its highest-rated series.
But in a move that surprised no one who’s familiar with either the cutthroat nature of the television industry or Jim Bob’s relentless quest for a buck, the Duggars were granted a second shot at reality fame on the condition that they agree to never again feature Josh on camera.
It was an inevitable compromise, and so, perhaps, was its failure.
TLC and the Duggars both overplayed their hands and underestimated the extent to which the public was appalled at the charges against Josh.
Counting On was launched far too soon, its cynical ambitions too apparent to even the most naïve viewers.
As a result, despite the fact that the Duggars were already a proven property, the show started with a smaller audience than 19 Kids, and that viewership has been in steady decline almost from day one.
Now, as another season of Counting On draws to a close, the powers that be at TLC have yet to announce a renewal–and many fans are beginning to fret that the Duggars time on television has finally come to a close.
Of course, the Duggars have filmed in secret in the past, but that’s when the show was in its infancy and producers didn’t want to attract negative attention to the set.
This time, the likeliest explanation is that TLC execs are weighing their options and considering if a show with a minute share of the key demographic is worth such constant PR nightmares.
It remains possible that the Duggars will be renewed for another (likely final) season.
But even if that turns out to be the case, we now know that it won’t be a decision their network arrived at easily.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.
Watch Counting On online for more from reality TV’s most controversial family.