The Duggar family, of 19 Kids and Counting fame, is responsible for a lot of the buzz that TLC has gotten in recent years. Unfortunately for the network, not all of the buzz has been great. The scandal revealing that Josh Duggar molested some of his sisters resulted in the cancellation of 19 Kids, but Jill and Jessa Duggar stuck around on TLC for their own series. Despite decent ratings, however, Jill & Jessa: Counting On has struggled thanks to one big problem: some advertisers want nothing to do with the Duggar name.
Counting On has faced troubles with advertisers for quite some time. Seven companies very publicly distanced themselves from Counting On after their commercials aired during the premiere episode. Considering those companies were Pure Michigan, Verizon Wireless, Mattress Firm, Cici's Pizza, Choice Hotels, The UPS Store, and Whitewave foods, the distancing was no small matter. They were big advertisers deliberately avoiding association with the Duggar clan. The second week after the Counting On premiere saw more advertisers - including Credit Karma, Gazelle, and Wrigley - pull their ads. Now, things are worse than ever.
The second season of Counting On has officially lost even more big companies from allowing TLC ads to air during episodes. Perez Hilton reports that Gerber Life, Hotwire, Trivago, and Thumbtack.com are the latest to pull their commercials. Gerber and Trivago have both disclaimed that their ads were not deliberately shown during Counting On and will no longer feature ads during episodes. Thumbtack.com and Hotwire have taken harder stances.
Thumbtack.com reports that it buys TV ad space for networks as a whole rather than for during specific blocks of time, and they are now considering whether they need to change their deal to advertise on TLC. Hotwire has gone so far as to remove TLC from its advertisement plans for cable networks. AMC, Bravo, HGTV, TNT, TBS, and USA will still work with Hotwire; TLC evidently will not.
TLC has found ways to fill the empty minutes where commercials are meant to play; promos for other TLC programming air in place of ads. The TLC promos are nice for regular viewers who would rather see what's coming on the network than ads for hotels and travel, but they're not so nice for a company looking to actually make money off of its content.
If this dropping of advertisers continues, Counting On may not be making enough money to be viable, meaning TLC may not be willing or able to keep it on the air. The Duggar scandal isn't getting any less scandalous as time passes. Jill and Jessa might want to start planning on living their lives without cameras and the extra money that TV appearances bring in.
Season 2 of Jill and Jessa: Counting On is still airing, so fans don't have to worry just yet about losing the family adventures of the two Duggar sisters. Another baby is on the way for Jessa, and regular viewers might be unhappy to lose the series now. Check out our fall TV premiere schedule to see what else you can watch on the small screen in the near future.