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HOME > Kate Plus 8

TLC won't change 'Jon & Kate's name, didn't film kids learning of split

By Christopher Rocchio, 06/24/2009 

Although it wouldn't seem to make much business sense for TLC to put Jon & Kate Plus 8 on hiatus after Jon and Kate Gosselin's Monday night separation announcement drew more than 10 million viewers, network president Eileen O'Neill feels it is the right decision.

"It's hard to walk away from a big number, but it really made sense so that everyone could adjust to the new circumstances," O'Neill told The New York Times in a Tuesday report.

"Once we understood that they were going to make an announcement, we discussed various scenarios with them.  We really collaborated on what would make sense for the family."

Although viewers learned of the separation this week after months of infidelity allegations surrounding the Gosselins, The Times reported it is unclear when their eight children were informed of the separation.

"We did not document family conversations," O'Neill told The Times.  "As they've said all along, certain matters are private, and we've respected that."

Despite the separation, O'Neill told The Times there are no plans to change Jon & Kate Plus 8's title when it returns from a four-week hiatus on August 3. 

In addition, O'Neill said she is "very confident" that return date will not be postponed.

Before the hiatus, TLC will air a retrospective of the couple's 10-year marriage on Monday, June 29 in order for viewers to "catch up and remind themselves how this story really grew," O'Neill told The Times

While she added there is no "hard date" for when the Gosselins plan to resume filming, cancellation isn't on the table at this time.

"That's not in anyone's mind," she told The Times.

In addition, O'Neill said she anticipates "the focus will remain on the parent-child relationship" and not Jon and Kate's relationship with one another.

O'Neill actually developed Jon & Kate Plus 8 when she was running TLC's Discovery Health sister network (and the show's subsequent ratings success played a significant role in the company's decision to put her in charge of TLC last summer) and said recent happenings surrounding the family have had a personal impact on her.

"You can't help but become invested in people that you've worked with for several years," she told The Times.  "It certainly has an impact on you."

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