The U.S. reality television series "Jon & Kate Plus 8" ended its five-season run Monday amid the titular couple's sensational divorce.

Jon and Kate Gosselin, the parents of eight young children, became the focus of a media firestorm last summer after announcing plans to divorce.

Although Kate initially was criticized for her controlling demeanor and sharp tongue, she was seen in a more positive light during her separation from Jon as she stayed home to care for her kids, while Jon was frequently seen partying at night clubs and out on dates.

When TLC announced it planned to limit his role on the show, he sued to halt production, claiming it was detrimental to his kids.

Attempts to resume work on the show were unsuccessful and the couple were interviewed separately for the last edition of "Jon & Kate Plus 8."

"This is a very bittersweet goodbye for me because the kids are already missing it," Kate explained. "I don't like endings. I don't like goodbyes unless it's finishing a term paper or finishing a book."

Asked how she feels about wrapping up the show, she confessed: "It's sad. It's needless. It's useless. It was totally avoidable."

She said the show gave her children the opportunity to travel, paid for their educations and allowed them to be with their parents, who essentially worked at home for the series.

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Jon said the last few months helped him be more introspective.

"I think I've become more educated about myself," he noted. "I never really took blame and now I'm taking blame and I can own up to it. I've gotta stop being a kid. I've gotta grow up one day and take initiative and be a man."

He said he regressed after the breakup because he had so much responsibility at such a young age -- marrying at 22, having twins at 23 and becoming the father of sextuplets at 27. "Maybe I reverted back to 23.

"I had kids my whole 20s and our marriage fell apart and I felt like I was free," he said. "I kinda took advantage of it for awhile and didn't really think about my actions until I started getting paparazzi and written about. That's maturing. That's growing up. ... We're going to strive to be the best parents we can, not for our sake, but for our kids' sakes."