'Counting On' canceled by TLC in wake of Josh Duggar's arrest on child pornography charges
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 06/30/2021
Counting On has officially been canceled by TLC after 11 seasons and almost six years on the air due to Josh Duggar's recent arrest on child pornography charges.
"TLC will not be producing additional seasons of Counting On," the network toldPeople in a statement.
"TLC feels it is important to give the Duggar family the opportunity to address their situation privately."
The news TLC will no longer continue working with the Duggar family comes shortly after a Change.org petition boycotting the series racked up about 29,000 signatures.
"The decision was made by TLC earlier this week to cancel the show... The petition from those who boycotted Counting On was hard to ignore, and sponsors were very concerned following Josh's arrest," a source toldThe U.S. Sun.
"There have been a lot of discussions in recent weeks as the network had already spent money on production after months of filming. But the bottom line is, the network really wants to be on the right side of this scandal ahead of Josh's trial. It was important for bosses to be seen to have taken action."
The source added, "The case has put the show in such a bad light, and although it's a shame for those who worked hard on it, and the money spent, there really is no way forward."
19 Kids and Counting, which starred Josh and his large family, aired on TLC for seven years until it was canceled in 2015 after cheating and molestation scandals involving Josh rocked his Christian family.
Counting On premiered on TLC in 2015 and did not feature Josh. Season 11 of Counting On-- which was initially launched as Jill & Jessa: Counting On -- wrapped in September 2020.
Josh, 33, was arrested by Homeland Security and taken to a prison in Arkansas' Washington County on April 29.
The former 19 Kids and Counting star reportedly appeared at the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Arkansas via Zoom on April 30 and pleaded not guilty to one count of receipt of child pornography and one count of possession of child pornography.
In May 2019, Josh allegedly downloaded content of child sexual abuse on the Internet, "some of which depicts the sexual abuse of children under the age of 12," according to a press release.
Prosecutors reportedly believe the former reality TV star had more than 200 images of children on his computer.
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Josh was set to begin trial on July 6, but on Tuesday, a judge granted his defense team's request to delay the trial date.
While Josh requested a February 2022 trial, court documents obtained by Us Weekly reveal the judge decided to extend the trial date by just four months and Josh's conference will begin on November 18, 2021, with a rescheduled trial date of November 30.
If Josh is convicted of the alleged crimes, he could receive a total possible sentence of 40 years and $500,000 in fines given each of his charges carry up to 20 years of imprisonment and up to $250,000 in fines.
The eldest son of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar was held without bail after his arrest, but Josh's lawyers reportedly claimed during a May 5 hearing he should be released on bond because Josh is "neither a risk of flight nor a danger to the community."
Josh was hoping to return home to his 32-year-old wife, Anna Duggar, who announced in April that she is expecting her seventh child with Josh.
But due to the fact minors live in Josh's family's home, Josh was ultimately approved to reside with pastor Lacount Reber and his wife Maria Reber for a home-confinement stay after his release, according to Us.
Shortly after Josh's April arrest, TLC told Us in a statement, "TLC is saddened to learn about the continued troubles involving Josh Duggar. 19 Kids and Counting has not aired since 2015."
"TLC canceled the show on the heels of prior allegations against Josh Duggar and he has not appeared on air since then," the network added.
Josh and Anna tied the knot in 2008 and are parents of Mackynzie, 11, Michael, 9, Marcus, 7, Meredith, 5, Mason, 3, and Maryella, 19 months.
Josh and Anna have mostly avoided the spotlight since August 2015, when Josh admitted he had cheated on Anna and developed an addiction to pornography.
Josh completed a seven-month rehab stint at Reformers Unanimous in Rockford, IL, in early 2016.
At the time, Josh reportedly confessed on the Duggar family website, "I have been the biggest hypocrite ever. While espousing faith and family values, I have secretly over the last several years been viewing pornography on the Internet and this became a secret addiction and I became unfaithful to my wife."
"I am so ashamed of the double life that I have been living and am grieved for the hurt, pain and disgrace my sin has caused my wife and family, and most of all Jesus and all those who profess faith in Him," he continued.
But once Josh left rehab, he was still wrapped up in a legal battle with Danica Dillon, an exotic dancer at the time who claimed Josh had caused her "physical and emotional injuries" during paid sexual encounters in 2015. Dillon alleged intercourse with Josh was rough and traumatizing.
Reports also surfaced in May 2015 Josh had molested a handful of girls, including his own sisters Jill Duggar and Jessa Duggar, over a decade prior.
Anna reportedly said she had known about Josh's alarming past before walking down the aisle in 2008 and had forgiven him, however, it was extremely difficult when Josh's "teenage mistakes" came back to haunt them in the press.
Jessa told People at the time Anna takes her "until death do us part" vows very seriously and personally worked hard to forgive Josh and build trust again. About The Author:Elizabeth Kwiatkowski
Elizabeth Kwiatkowski is Associate Editor of Reality TV World and has been covering the reality TV genre for more than a decade.