TLC puts Jon and Kate on hiatus after record-breaking ratings make it the year’s top-rated cable show

Following last night’s record-breaking episode on which Jon and Kate were revealed to be divorcing, just six of 40 episodes of Jon & Kate Plus Eight have aired, but the show is now on hiatus until August.

In a statement to the media, the network said, “TLC continues to support the Gosselin family and will work closely with them to determine the best way to continue to tell their story as they navigate through this difficult time. During this time, the family will take some time off to regroup and then a modified schedule will be in place to support the family’s transition.”

Last night’s episode had record ratings yet again: 10.6 million viewers watched, well over the record number who watched the season premiere. That’s “the top TV show of the day and the top cable TV show of the year,” according to The New York Times’ Brian Stelter. Since the season premiere was the highest-rated reality show on cable ever, last night’s episode now claims that title.

Despite those high ratings, the series’ “next all-new episode would be on August 3rd,” according to the LA Times, which reports that “the desire to take a production break came from the network,” because TLC does not really have enough footage to put together new episodes right now as its production schedule had become very last minute.”

Although Jon and Kate both said during last night’s episode that they were sticking with the series, and it’s hard to imagine them walking away from, you know, money, I think the series is going to pretty much limp toward its inevitable end. Despite a huge, record-breaking debut, the show couldn’t sustain those ratings, leading to a a 70 percent drop. Last week, they lost another 1.3 million viewers.

On some level, I think a series about divorced parents trying to raise eight kids while living apart would be informative and interesting, if not entertaining, but I can’t imagine hordes of people would tune in consistently to watch something that’s more uncomfortable than entertaining.

‘Jon & Kate Plus 8′ goes on production hiatus [Los Angeles Times]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.