'7 Little Johnstons': How 'molester' Josh Duggar of '19 Kids and Counting' helped skyrocket show's popularity
'7 Little Johnstons' is returning to TLC next week. Starting December 29, Trent and Amber Johnston will be seen tackling a fair amount of ups and downs and a lot of drama as the rest of their big-little family, comprised of their five children, come together under the same roof because of the pandemic. All of them live with a rare genetic condition called achondroplasia, which is the most common form of dwarfism, but they live life just like any regular-sized person would. Audiences can also expect to see Amber and Trent trying to spice up their marriage of 20 years. The couple will be using the help of pole dancing experts, an intimacy coach and even build a "love shack" to bring back the spark in their relationship.
As for their children, Elizabeth will be seen balancing college courses and her relationship with boyfriend Brice. Anna's journey will be more about adjusting as she moves home from college due to the pandemic, while Alex and Emma are gearing up to enter high school. Jonah's relationship with the rest of his family is strained. He will be seen tackling that along with his romance with his long-distance girlfriend, Ashley, according to a People report.
The show is returning for Season 8 but did you know there was a time that it wasn't as popular as it is right now? '7 Little Johnstons' first premiered in March 2015 and ended at the end of April. In May of that same year, In Touch published an article claiming Josh Duggar of '19 Kids and Counting' had molested a number of victims as a teenager. Soon after this news broke, a number of sponsors including General Mills, Walgreens, Payless ShoeSource, Choice Hotels, Pizza Hut, Sweet Leaf Tea and Crayola backed out and pulled their advertisements from the show.
Amid all this chaos, TLC canceled the reruns of the show that they were airing of '19 Kids' ahead of its season premiere later that year. This was on May 22. Things kept getting worse and Jim Bob Duggar and his wife Michelle appeared on a television show and admitted to Megyn Kelly that four of the victims of their son were their own daughters. TLC then canceled the show in July, pulled off the reruns and began airing reruns of '7 Little Johnstons' Season 1 instead. This helped pull in a huge number of viewers for the show and it helped to skyrocket its popularity, according to a Screen Rant report.
"After thoughtful consideration, TLC and the Duggar family have decided to not move forward with 19 Kids and Counting," TLC wrote in a statement on their website. "The recent attention around the Duggars has sparked a critical and important conversation about child protection," it continued.
'7 Little Johnstons' will air on Tuesday, December 29, 2020, at 8 pm ET on TLC.