Friday, October 25, 2019

15 Years of Duggar TV

Duggar siblings in Washington DC
March 2019
 
Last month, the Duggars hit an exciting milestone. September 9th was the 15-year anniversary of the premiere of their first reality TV special, 14 Children and Pregnant Again. Can you believe that the Duggar family has been on television that long? They started with five specials, which gave way to the start of their weekly series 17 Kids and Counting on September 29th, 2008 (just over 11 years ago).

The series became 18 Kids and Counting in January 2009 and then ran for two seasons before being renamed to 19 Kids and Counting. After six additional seasons, the family was off the air for several months in 2015 before the premiere of Counting On in December. Counting On is currently in its 10th season, although the seasons are significantly shorter than those of the previous series.

The Duggars started filming for their first special around the beginning of 2004, just a few months before Jackson was born. Did you see 14 Children and Pregnant Again when it first aired on TV?

Photo courtesy duggarfamily.com

62 comments:

  1. I watched the first show and, as a Christian, I was very curious about the Duggar's lifestyle. Even though I have attended several different churches over the decades, I have never known any Christians who follow the Duggar's belief system. I have enjoyed watching the family though, especially watching the kids grow into adults with their own families. I just don't think their huge families or restricted lifestyle is Christian. I think they ARE Christian, but that they have added a lot of extra rules to Christianity, and I sometimes get upset about it. I still keep watching though!

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    1. Yep. It’s interesting to watch, but they are following a different interpretation of Christianity.

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    2. Sometimes GOD calls us to go down a stricter path. It maybe they needed this path the reason why is GOD'S to reveal if HE so desires

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  2. WOW then I've known The Duggars for 15 years, crazy, I love The Duggars sooooooooo much!!!!!! WOW 15 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!! U guys helped!!!!!!!

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  3. I feel sad that a lot of these children have not experienced a life away from reality television. Yes, we all love the shows but how has having a filming crew around on and off for 15 years affected their lives? We don’t know how this will affect the younger kids as they grow into adults. How will it affect their self esteem, expectations in life, etc.? I feel sorrow that the kids don’t know a time where filming wasn’t a part of their lives.

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    1. They show only a few episodes a season now, so the kids are spending most of their lives now not being filmed.

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    2. you shouldnt feel sorry for them, they dont know anything other than this. they also feel the film crew is like family to them, which is a good thing. i've noticed that the shyer and quieter ones dont have much to do or say in front of the camera and i'm sure that's jim bob and michelle protecting them

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    3. Yes, their life without TV would be absolutely different: struggling to get "toilet time" in time as in the first special is definitely the part of the childhood none of them have missed.Kids "dancing" in the morning line for the toilet is the episode to remember when you complain about "poor kids with no childhood"

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    4. These kids are lucky that they had so much life to spend with a filming crew around, extra helping people, and extra friendly faces and friends for lives. They so benefited from all travel opportunities and even new clothes to wear for photoshoots. They are so lucky that now they can watch the series and see themselves 15 years ago being little kids.

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    5. You have to remember that the film crew is not around the family 24/7, 365 days a year. The family, even the younger children, can understand that for a period of time out of their year, a television crew will come in and become part of their lives. After a designated time, relatively short in the greater scheme of things, the crew will leave, and their lives will return to normal. I believe that any of the sets of parents would intervene if they felt their children were upset about being filmed.

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    6. Anon 4:41pm the kids seem really comfortable with the cameras and the crew. Besides that, they are set for life financially, especially as frugal as they are.

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    7. Unknown 10:08 If they were all standing in line to use the toilet and there were kids ages 16 or older at home who weren't working then that would be ridiculous. They have so many able bodied kids at home for years now that to think they would be struggling without reality tv as an income is just not true.

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    8. So you don't think a child should ever be on t.v. right or just the Duggars

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  4. I remember the early days and people really connected with the Duggars back then. Their heart for ministry work and their frugal ways and conservative lifestyle was really inspiring. Sadly so much has changed and now it's lavish vacations, expensive weddings, airplanes, lots and lots of spending, wordly dressing and so much of what we admired is gone. They should have stopped years ago before they got so fame hungry and materialistic. But I guess that ship sailed and this is who they are now.

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    1. Agree with every word.

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    2. Just as any family, this family was growing and developing and improving. I'm sure that many families could not afford a lot of things at the beginning, but now they improved their wealth and going on vacations and doing better shopping than 15 years ago, having their kids married in wonderful weddings.

      Their kids don't live lavish lives. Look at Jill who lives in a small house with her kids and cooks and cleans for them, having her car broken, and a husband to does part-time pizza delivery. Jessa lives in a very small house as well, with now 3 kids. Joy lives in a trailer.
      John-David did a lot of work with his towing business first, got a house from a bank for clearing out some area.
      Like, they either hardworking and made their own way, or don't really live lavish lifestyles. Look at Jessa, when was the last time she was on vacation?
      Jinger, yes, she is in Hollywood and enjoying LA lifestyle with her stylish husband.

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    3. I tend to agree with you. Life in front of a TV crew is not what the rest of us experience. I don't see their material things as a good value. The younger ones don't know any other life and thus think it's how everyone lives.

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    4. @4:55—I agree with you. I began watching when it was interesting to see how a large family logistically work. Showing such a evangelical family and their beliefs was something unfamiliar to me. However, after the manner in which JimBob and the church elders handled the Josh’s horrific behavior, my interest in the Duggars began to wane. Add everything you stated; plus Derick & Jill’s unclear decisions (and Derick’s comments and health choices?) why they left or were told to leave the show...I could go on and on. I just pop in here once hoping to learn something new and good about the family.

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    5. Anon 4:55 I agree with you. They went from being ministry oriented people who dressed and lived a frugal conservative life which was so endearing to us to becoming people who spend tons vacationing and planes and every other thing in life and dress in tight clothes and climb through rough terrain to get to the Hollywood sign. That about sums up the Duggar s now.

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    6. Anon 4:55pm I so agree with your observations!! I admired their old convictions too. Now they seem more like the rest of us and not as inspiring. I miss Michelle and Jim Bob too. Amy's not on anymore either. It's disheartening and confusing to their loyal viewers who used to glean so much from their conservative values.

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    7. I also agree. I was huge fan of the earlier shows. I loved watching this wonderful Christian family, and I loved how they lived their Christian values. It was part of everything they did: homeschooling, ministry work, and, like you mentioned, modesty and frugality in regard to how they dressed and how the presented themselves. Now, like the Bates family and the Alaskan Bush people, they have gotten a taste of the good life, and I feel like it has compromised their values and the show.

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    8. I very much agree with the original poster.

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    9. Anon 2:57- Derek chose to leave the show because of feeling convicted

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    10. I agree they've become very worldly

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  5. After 15 years of baring their lives to the public, they really should bow out, let another (more interesting now) family have that time slot, and go back to being private citizens.

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    1. Why? If they all still enjoy being filmed there is no reason for them not to be. Many people obviously still enjoy watching their show, based off of ratings.

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    2. Ha! Ha! I think now most of us still watch because we can't believe how much they've changed! Their much more secular now and those deep abiding standards are slowly eroding away. They capture viewers intetest in a muchmore dumbfounded way.

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    3. @2:35 Ratings are only estimates and no ratings service can tell if someone is actually enjoying watching something, only that the ratings-connected TV got tuned to that channel then.

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  6. I remember the first special very well, not sure if we received it at the same time as the American viewers but it’s hard to imagine it was 15 years ago. I remember the article that accompanied the show in the TV guide & it interested me as I was writing a paper at the time on large families & the stresses on mother’s that had gone through multiple pregnancies. It fascinated me from day one & I became a fan. I can’t say the family appear the same today as they did back then, but personally I think it’s better they have moved into the 21st century more & wear much more modern clothing. The kids have all grown & we have been introduced to several more since that date, however what sticks in my mind most is that Michelle looks very much the same, her skin is superb for a woman in her 50s. I doubt the family will remain on our screens for too much longer as I can’t see the grown children wanting continue as long as JB & Michelle have, so I’m making the most of this season & im grateful for any extra we get.

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  7. Time 10:45PM Fri 10/25/19
    No I never seen it on TV But I seen it on YouTube plenty of times but never got to finish 14 kids & counting.

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  8. been watching since the fist show! remember seeing a commercial and thought it would be fun seeing a large family and how they interact with each other, especially since i was home schooling. been hooked ever since. i dont share any of their religious beliefs but that fact didnt/doesnt deter me from watching. my kids had previously gone to a baptist school that also used the abeka curriculum so i was interested in seeing michelle in action with it as well. being a little older than the duggars, we were actually surprised at how similar we parented in a lot of situations (guess we'd be considered old fashioned) and it was/is interesting to watch are similarities despite our differences. i'm grateful they've put themselves 'out there' for so long. when the first grandchild, probably mackynzie, is of courting age, they need to rename to show 'counting over' lol!

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    1. I don't remember them using Abeka

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    2. The Bates use Abeka.

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  9. That's an awful long time to be raising your children and now your children's children on a reality show. I think their lives and message was nice years back but now it's just for money and that is now real clear.

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  10. That's amazing! For 15 years we've followed this wonderful family and lived with them their happiness and sad moments! Thank you to Duggar family for sharing their lives with us!

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  11. I remember the Duggars doing a family interview just before 19KaC was cancelled. In it Jessa proclaimed that they aren’t a TV family; they’re “just a family that happens to be on TV.” And went on to say - along with Michelle - that they understood the show wouldn’t last forever and they would be fine when it came time to end. It was almost eerie foreshadowing. Fast forward a few months and the whole family was in full-on battle mode relentlessly campaigning and fighting tooth and nail to save their TV show. Everything they do and say is a walking contradiction. They’re just so phony and will do anything to keep that easy, plentiful TV money rolling in. Wasn’t it Jesus himself who said you cannot serve two masters - both god and money? The Duggars have sold their children, their integrity, their privacy - practically all they can - for money. They’re shameless.

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    1. I think that's a little harsh. I think the Duggars agreed to the show initially with well meaning intent, to display Jesus in an inspirational way. However, they have slowly allowed more worldly views to creep in and rationalize it. But I think their motive for the show was pure but they got caught up in the fame. It's more so the adult kids though who have veered away than Jim Bob and Michelle.

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    2. Agree with this 100%

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    3. I know. The "new show" was supposed to be about the adult children and THEIR lives but JB and Michelle have worked their way into most of the newer shows. Almost like they never left. I think actions speak far more loudly than words.

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    4. Jesus also said, "Judge not, lest ye be judged". And, God is always capitalized. It seems that you appear to have intimate knowledge of a family whom you only see on TV. The children, many of them, are now adults and are free to make their own choices. Since you seem to have such a low opinion of the Duggars, why are you watching? I personally think more people should be as loving and gracious as they seem to be....based on what I see on TV.

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    5. Actually Jesus was talking specifically in that passage (Judge not lest ye be judged) about judging who is and is not going to Hell. Because we don't know a person's heart intent 24/7 like God does and we're not God, we don't know who may repent of their sins and accept Jesus and who may be claiming to follow Jesus but is actually just playing Church (indulging in secret sin on the side with no intention of repenting). Jesus, knowing all this, also told us that by their fruit you will know them. Good trees bear good fruit; bad trees bear bad fruit. Trees don't bear fruit overnight and neither do most people. We're instructed and expected to evaluate whether someone's actions/attitudes/behaviors/motivation line up with what they're telling us they are (Jesus said so). That's called using wisdom. We're also warned that if we choose not to take of sin in our lives, our sin will come to light and will expose us (that's called judgement). Paul also instructed us to judge those inside the Church by their fruit, but not those outside the Church (because they are not claiming to know and follow Jesus). We cannot and should not expect the unsaved to follow Biblical principles. Actual Christ followers have both the ability and the responsibility to follow Biblical principles set forth in God's Word (not a denomination's dogma nor a minister's position). If you read the New Testament, you see that Paul had a zero tolerance policy for people who sinned and continued in sin. Once the sin has been brought to our attention, we have a responsibility to stop doing it-no cover-ups allowed because covering it up and trying to keep it quiet is deception because we're motivated by not wanting anyone else to know what what we've been doing, not by our broken relationship with God and how we've treated Him. Some people claim to repent, but they merely confess their sin because they've been caught in it and they're really just trying to do damage control so they can keep their job, their spouse, their stuff, etc. That's why Jesus tells us to look for their long term fruit-nobody can keep up a charade for very long without leaking or cracks showing up in the foundation.

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  12. Love this family!

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  13. I did! I've watched from the beginning! I was 16 when that aired! :) Love following this family!

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  14. I will never not want to know what they are up to!

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  15. Congratulations to all the Duggars on the 15th anniversary. Loved watching everyone grow and mature on the show. God Bless.
    Joan,Marion and Marilyn

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  16. Enjoy watching the family, however the quality of the shows content have declined. It would be nice if a more conservative network picked up the show. Would love to see more of the day to day homeschooling the younger children, how do they manage the household now that the young children are older. Lets see church services again, family Bible studies again. How are the adult children living daily lives, family routines with the new generation of Duggars, patenting styles of the now adult children. Lets see more of the cameras following the adults on the daily jobs, lets see more of how they have grown the family business to include the adult children. Lastly it would be great to see more of Anna and how she runs daily life again. What is she using to homeschool her children, how is she managing a family now that the size will be double of what we last got to see the daily life(I do understand why she stays out of spotlight, however, personally I believe that she is very admirable to have not given up on her husband and family and it would be great to see how they have moved beyond the difficulties)

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  17. Their show is honestly boring now to me.

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  18. I remember watching the very first episode! I wish they’d go back to just doing like a yearly special. Would be a lot less boring!

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  19. Who do y’all think is going to have the next baby?

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    1. The pregnant ones or non pregnant ones?

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    2. If you mean who will get pregnant next, my money is on Joy.

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  20. I remember watching the 14 children and pregnant again, and thinking that it was pretty interesting that one family named their children with the same letter, "J." As they have all grown up and the children that are married have children, it's interesting to see what names they name their children.

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  21. It's interesting reading all the comments here about how the show and the family has changed. Over the course of 15 years, I think every family is prone to evolution (I know my basic boring family has definitely changed in that time!). Even more so with celebrity adding to the mix. Yes, they've gone on fancy trips and had fancy weddings, but I do feel they've stuck to a lot of their old ways more than other families in a similar situation might. They're still buying from thrift stores, the kids still have modest homes, and their faith still seems solid, albeit maybe a bit more modernized in some cases. I think the show itself had to evolve to move away from the "freak show" mentality it originally had (I mean, who wasn't tuning in to see this odd, giant family that had strict religious convictions, all "J" names, and that dressed a little funny?). It had to start showing us additional facets of their lives--or else seeing the same "how we run the house" stuff might have gotten old. Now I think they have built such a fan base that has followed them so closely that people are genuinely interested in the happenings of their lives, and that's what the show provides today. To some degree I think they want to show that you can be a Christian and still be more "normal" than they were portrayed in the past--now that they dress modern and live active lives away from the family compound. The younger kids are getting considerably less camera time now, so I wouldn't be worried much about them. The older kids have definitely evolved via social media, as well--but it's their right to use their fame as needed to provide for their families and make memories as they wish. In the end they're still just people living their lives and who are we to judge unless we walk in their shoes?

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    1. How many of us are the same that we were 15 years ago? My husband has had many raises in those years, and we live in a much nicer house. We also have more money now to go on vacations and buy nicer things for our house. We aren’t on a tv show and still have improved our lives. It makes sense that the Duggars would do the same thing. They have continued to buy and renovate properties, so I am sure they are making more money in their private lives than they used to. Why shouldn’t they enjoy some of it? They are still going on missions trips, and I am sure giving to missions through their churches as well. I don’t see them dripping in diamonds or moving into million dollar houses. They use the plane for work and missions trips. It is making them money as well so why not own it? I don’t see anything lavish in their lifestyle. I also don’t see any difference in their core beliefs. It makes sense that they dress style changed as the kids got old enough to pick out their own clothes. Some of their grown children have changed how they dress and the type of churches they go to..... but they are adults and free to make their own choices. The parents haven’t changed.

      I enjoy watching them and hope they stay on for a long time! I still love to hear how Michelle talks to her kids. You can see the genuine love she has for all of them. It is interesting to see how the grown kids are raising their families.

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    2. AmyRyb, I agree with you completely. I am a devout Christian, but not a Fundamentalist, and do not really personally agree with having so many children. I had heard about this large family, and was turned off by it. One of my main thoughts was that I felt parents could not provide a fair and good life to a child with a household that large. Then one summer morning I happened to have the TV on TLC and there was a Duggar show marathon. I listened in and easily and quickly found this family to be endearing and found the children to be very happy and lacking nothing. I became a fan that day. I really don't understand why folks post negative comments about this wonderful family and show.

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  22. Bet you the proceeds from my used car lot and my house flipping businesses that Jedidiah is courting, or about to be.

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  23. wow 15 years and still they keep comeing! one thing id like to say is i am so gratefull that they gave tyler a home i know how it feels not to have my birht parents and id like to bless jimbob and michelle

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  24. MO- After years of watching, I stopped when the overseas trip aired to meet a guy. I will not watch now because the person who caused the show to end is still being promoted by the family. He is their son and they can love him, but he needs to stay off the show. His many offenses where inexcusable. :o(

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    1. You're not watching the show because the family "promotes" a family member who is not on the show anymore?

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