Would '19 Kids and Counting' Be Cancelled if Michelle Duggar Wasn't Pregnant?

duggarsIt's an inspiring story: Michelle Duggar makes the ultimate sacrifice for her family. She gets knocked up for the 20th time so the family show can go on. What a champ! Thanks, Mom. We know your last pregnancy was life-threatening, and that just adds to the drama, so we're super excited to see how this pans out. Maybe you could arrange for a third round of pre-eclampsia as well? Or at least another preemie? The studio will pay for Pitocin.

What, you think that's cynical? America is pretty divided over the Duggar family. You either love them or you're totally repulsed. But there's one thing I think we can all agree on: everyone loves a television pregnancy. Baby #20 is ratings gold for TLC.


From a television producer's perspective, the Duggar story is kind of old news. Lots of kids? What's the difference between 17 or 18 or 19 kids, really? When you're dealing with those numbers, once you get over the shock, it's just episode after episode of good church-going children behaving themselves. Boring! Where's the drama if these kids are all sweet and obedient along all the time?

That's why the Duggars need another pregnancy. And not just any pregnancy -- a super-scary high-risk pregnancy. She's 45 now! Anything could happen. Can't you just wait for the anmnio? You know they could stretch that out for two or three edge-of-your-seat episodes alone!

So let's get it out there. Exactly how much money is at stake? E! Online said it was $25,000 to $40,000 per episode back in 2009 when there were only 18 kids. Those numbers could be bigger now. Sure, Papa Duggar brings in some dough through the family's properties, but this is not just about supporting the Duggar family. This show supports directors, lighting techs, all kinds of people. They're just the public face of a big family business. But no pressure, Michelle.

Do you think it matters that so much money is at stake for the Duggar family's 20th baby?


Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty

Read More >