A Look Back at Kate Gosselin's Rise to Reality Show Stardom to Getting Fired

Nicole Pomarico | Jan 16, 2020 Celebrities
A Look Back at Kate Gosselin's Rise to Reality Show Stardom to Getting Fired
Image: Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

Kate Gosselin
Noel Vasquez/Getty Images

It's been over a decade since fans were first introduced to Kate Gosselin (and ex husband Jon Gosselin) on TLC's hit reality show Jon & Kate Plus 8 about their large family. Together, Jon and Kate have eight children: twins Cara and Mady, 18; and sextuplets Aaden, Alexis, Collin, Hannah, Joel, and Leah, 15. The way they handled their day-to-day lives while wrangling so many kids was pretty impressive, and it made people want to tune in ... but it didn't take long before everything began to unravel in front of the entire world, including Jon and Kate's marriage.

It's been quite a journey for Kate. From Jon & Kate Plus 8, she bounced back from her divorce by helping to transform the show into Kate Plus 8, following her life with a house full of kids as a single mom. That didn't last forever, either, and most recently, she starred in Kate Plus Date, but now, we know that's come to a permanent end because TLC has seemingly cut all ties with her after she was found in contempt of court for violating filming rules with her children.

Being that this stuff happened over the span of 11 years, it makes sense if now, in 2020, some of the details are a bit fuzzy. But this timeline should clear it all up for fans who are a bit confused on the way everything played out ... and how Jon and Kate both ended up where they are today.

Read on for a complete timeline of Kate's reality TV journey, from the time she starred on Jon & Kate Plus 8 to today, when she seems to be out of the reality TV game entirely -- at least, as far as TLC is concerned. Who knows what the future holds, but we have a feeling that Kate probably has a backup plan in the works as we speak.

  • How Jon & Kate Gosselin Ended Up With a Reality Show

    Jon Gosselin, Kate Gosselin
    Amy Sussman/WireImage for Discovery Communications/Getty Images

    Considering that Jon and Kate's big family of multiples is pretty unusual -- parents with sextuplets and a set of twins doesn't happen every day -- it's no surprise that they were the subject of a couple of documentaries. First came specials, such as Surviving Sextuplets and Twins, and One Year Later. They were so successful that Jon and Kate landed their very own reality show.

  • April 2007: 'Jon & Kate Plus 8' Premieres 


    In 2007, the show premiered, and it didn't take long before Jon and Kate (and their kids) became household names. At this point, they seemed like any other family -- they just had a lot of kids. 

    Who could have predicted what was to come down the pike?

  • 'Jon & Kate Plus 8' Finds Massive Success 

    Jon Gosselin and Kate Gosselin
    Amy Sussman/WireImage for Discovery Communications/Getty Images

    It didn't take long to realize that TLC had a massive hit on its hands with Jon & Kate Plus 8. Although fans regularly tuned in to see what the Gosselins were up to, they hit their peak when the show's fifth season premiered, drawing in almost 10 million viewers. However, there was definitely trouble brewing.

  • 2009: Cheating Rumors Surface

    Jon Gosselin
    Splash News

    In summer 2009, word began to spread that Jon had reportedly cheated on Kate. According to Us Weekly, Jon was spotted with Deanna Hummel in Park City, Utah, drinking beers and hanging out while Kate spent her birthday alone back in Pennsylvania with the kids. Since then, Jon has maintained that he never cheated on Kate.

  • June 2009: Jon & Kate Announce Their Split 


    In a video for TLC, Jon and Kate (separately) announced that they'd decided to separate, after the cheating rumors and months of speculation that something was up in their marriage. It wasn't until December 2009 that their divorce was finalized.

  • 2009: 'Kate Plus 8' is Delayed 

    'Kate Plus 8'

    Not long after TLC announced that Jon & Kate Plus 8 would become Kate Plus 8, the show was delayed when Jon filed a lawsuit hoping to bar the kids from participating in the show. At the time, TLC released a statement about the state of Kate Plus 8

    "We are aware of Jon Gosselin's recent statements, and remain deeply disappointed at his continued erratic behavior," the statement said, according to Reality TV World. "He and the family were shooting as recently as last Friday, without incident, and his latest comments are grossly inaccurate, without merit and are clearly opportunistic. Despite Jon Gosselin's repeated self destructive and unprofessional actions, he remains under an exclusive contract with TLC.  Direct filming of the children has been currently suspended, pending further conversations between both parents."

  • 2010: Kate's Brother Files a Lawsuit 

    Kate Gosselin
    Splash News

    A year after the divorce was final, Kate went to court when her brother, Kevin Kreider, filed a lawsuit claiming that Jon & Kate Plus 8 was causing "psychological damage" to the children. They also claimed that their privacy was being violated by being on the show and being followed by cameras, even during moments like potty training. 

  • 'Kate Plus 8' Premieres 

    'Kate Plus 8'

    After a few hiccups, Kate Plus 8 finally premiered on TLC. It focused on Kate's life as a single mother raising eight children and would continue on for a total of six seasons -- although it definitely didn't have the same vibe that fans loved from Jon & Kate Plus 8

  • Meh Reception to 'Kate Plus 8'

    Kate Gosselin in 'Kate Plus 8'

    Unfortunately, Kate Plus 8 did not have the success that TLC hoped that it would. According to Zap2it, Kate wasn't pulling in abysmal numbers but the ratings weren't anything near what Jon & Kate Plus 8 was able to accomplish pre-divorce.

  • 2011: 'Kate Plus 8' Stalls Out

    Kate Gosselin in 'Kate Plus 8'

    By the end of 2011, it had been determined that Kate Plus 8 wouldn't be returning for another season. TLC announced that once the show hit 150 episodes, it was done. 

    "TLC has decided not to renew another season of Kate Plus 8," a TLC spokesperson told People in a statement. "By the end of this season Kate Plus 8 will have hit the 150 episode mark (including Jon & Kate Plus 8); an exceptional milestone. TLC hopes to check in with Kate and the family periodically with specials in the future."

  • Hiatus Time

    Kate Gosselin
    Splash News

    In the three years between Kate Plus 8 ending and then returning in 2014, Kate kept busy. She made some appearances, she did the talk show rounds, and even appeared on an episode of Celebrity Wife Swap. And eventually, TLC did bring the show back for a few more seasons, letting fans catch up with the Gosselin kids once again.

  • 2018: Kate Sues Jon  

    Kate Gosselin
    Splash News

    In 2018, Kate sued Jon for $132,000, claiming that he owed her for breaching an agreement they had potentially relating to their child support battle. At the time, Jon responded to the lawsuit, calling that amount of money "inappropriate" and not in the children's best interest, according to Radar Online. Later, they requested to seal the lawsuit.

  • June 2019: 'Kate Plus Date' Premieres on TLC


    Kate made her return to reality TV in 2019, starring in her own show called Kate Plus Date. The show followed what Kate was up to, centering on her love life as she attempted to date men who her daughters, Mady and Cara, helped set her up with.

  • October 2019: 'Kate Plus 8' Returns ... With Hannah & Collin Missing


    Fans immediately noticed that Hannah and Collin were both missing during the premiere of Kate Plus 8, and this led to even more backlash for her. In reality, they weren't on the show because at that point, they were both living with Jon full time after he won custody of them both. 

  • December 2019: Kate Found in Contempt of Court


    After her kids were seen in an October episode of Kate Plus 8, Kate was found in contempt of court. Apparently, her minor children were not allowed to appear on the show without filing work permits and filling Jon in on the filming schedule, but they'd filmed anyway. This led to Kate paying Jon a fine of $1,500 for violating their agreement. 

  • Kate Gets Fired From TLC 


    Not long after the news about Kate being in contempt broke, another bombshell dropped. A report from Radar Online revealed that Kate said she no longer worked with TLC during her December court appearance.

    “Kate stated in court that TLC has terminated their relationship with her,” a source said.

    Whoa -- that was definitely news to us.

  • Fans React to Kate's Firing 


    Kate's been getting a lot of criticism lately, and that certainly didn't change after the world found out she'd been fired. Fans took to her Instagram comments to share their disapproval of her, and it seems like Kate isn't getting any slack, even now that her reality career is a goner. 


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