TLC has canceled one of its most successful reality shows nearly two months after it was revealed that one of its stars had molested several underage girls.
Josh Duggar, one of 19 children of the Arkansas family documented by TLC since 2008, admitted to molesting five underage girls in 2002 and 2003, including four of his sisters, when he was a teenager.
"After thoughtful consideration, TLC and the Duggar family have decided to not move forward with 19 Kids and Counting. The show will no longer appear on the air," TLC said in a statement.
The network is partnering with advocacy groups to "raise awareness and educate parents and families about the issue." It will also produce a one-hour documentary featuring Jill and Jessa Duggar, two of Josh's victims. The commercial-free documentary will air later this summer.
"TLC has been especially concerned for the victims in this situation, including the Duggar family, and it is our hope that this effort will help those in need learn where to turn for information and help."
Duggar parents Jim Bob and Michelle sat down for an interview with Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly in early June saying that what happened was "not rape" because Josh's victims "didn't know or understand" what was happening to them. Their responses seemed to downplay the seriousness of the abuse, leaving TLC in a unpredictable position.
As the story broke, TLC went ahead with its plans to air a 19 Kids and Counting marathon on the night of May 21 but shelved the show the next day. "We are deeply saddened and troubled by this heartbreaking situation, and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and victims at this difficult time," the network said at the time.
This is the second reality show TLC has canceled in the last nine months. Here Comes Honey Boo Boo was shelved in October when the network confirmed reports that the show's star, Mama June, was dating a former boyfriend who had been convicted of child molestation.
19 Kids and Counting has been a hit for TLC. In October, 4.4 million people tuned in to see Jill Duggar and Derick Dillard marry. It was TLC's most-watched program in four years.