19 Kids and Counting
|19 Kids and Counting|
|Starring||The Duggar Family|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||9|
|No. of episodes||204 (plus specials) (List of episodes)|
|Running time||17–44 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Figure 8 Films|
|Picture format||480i (SDTV)
|Original run||September 29, 2008– present|
19 Kids and Counting (formerly 17 Kids and Counting and 18 Kids and Counting), rendered graphically as 19 Kids & Counting in its onscreen logo, is an American reality television show on TLC. The show is about the Duggar family, which consists of parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 19 children—nine girls and ten boys (including two sets of twins), all of whose names begin with the letter "J". Since the show began, three of the children have gotten married, with the oldest raising three of his own. The series began on September 29, 2008.
The Duggars live in Tontitown, Arkansas, and originally appeared in several TLC and Discovery Health one-hour specials, most of which focused on four of Michelle's last five deliveries. Jim Bob Duggar has one older sister, Deanna, who occasionally appears on the show. Michelle Duggar has six siblings. The couple met in the early 1980s when Jim Bob Duggar and a fellow church member were sent for a follow-up visit after Michelle Duggar had experienced a religious conversion. Jim Bob and Michelle were married on July 21, 1984.
The Duggars chose to delay having children and used birth control pills when they got married. Their eldest child, Josh, was born in 1988. They then resumed using oral contraceptives; despite precautions, they conceived again but Michelle miscarried. Michelle revealed that they had named the child Caleb despite not knowing what the sex was. Believing the miscarriage was due to the contraceptive, the Duggars decided to stop using birth control and allow God to determine the number of children they would have. Shortly after, Michelle became pregnant with her first set of twins, Jana and John-David. Thereafter, Michelle has given birth approximately once every year and a half.
The Duggars are devout Independent Baptists and adherents of the Christian patriarchy movement. In accordance with their beliefs, they only watch what they consider to be wholesome family television on DVD, and various historical events. They have filtered Internet service.
They adhere to certain standards of modesty in clothing; they do not wear shorts and tank tops, while women do not wear skirts above the knee. According to Michelle, the Duggars feel that exposing the thighs amounts to "nakedness and shame," and also runs the risk of "defrauding" others by encouraging lustful thoughts. They also avoid beaches and swimming in public to avoid the risk of their men lusting after women. Also, the females keep their hair long, and the males are clean-shaven and short-haired. Instead of dating, they practice chaperoned courtship, which encompasses the couple abstaining from any physical contact. In the event of engagement, the suitor seeks permission from the young woman's father before proposing to her.
The children are homeschooled using a mix of materials, including those of Switched On Schoolhouse, Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), and Accelerated Christian Education (ACE). For college studies, several of the older kids use the CollegePlus! program.
The Duggars raise their children using a buddy system, wherein an older sibling is assigned to a younger sibling and assists in the latter's primary care. According to Michelle, "They help them with their little phonics lessons and games during the day and help them practice their music lessons. They will play with them or help them pick out the color of their outfit that day and just all of those types of things." In 2004, Michelle Duggar won the "Young Mother of the Year Award" in Arkansas, which is sponsored by American Mothers Incorporated.
Jim Bob Duggar served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002. He later became a real estate agent and investor. The Duggars' income is derived from the rental proceeds of the commercial properties they own. They live debt-free, which Jim Bob Duggar has said is "the fruit of Jim Sammons' Financial Freedom Seminar" he attended years ago. (Sammons' Seminar is endorsed by IBLP.). The construction of their 7,000 square-foot (650 square-meter) house was begun by the family in 2000 when they bought the lot and ordered the frame. Discovery Networks completed it, by finding local Arkansas construction workers to donate their skills and time. The home was completed on January 20, 2006. Some of the painting, decorating, furnishings, appliances, and other finishing touches—such as a stocked pantry—were provided by Discovery Networks and corporate sponsors as part of the one-hour television special entitled 16 Children and Moving In.
During the series
On December 10, 2009, Michelle gave birth via emergency Caesarean section to Josie Brooklyn, three months prematurely. Michelle was rushed to the hospital for gallstones and it was there that doctors discovered she had pre-eclampsia and performed an emergency delivery. Josie weighed 1 lb, 6oz at birth. A week after the birth, Michelle reported that Josie was "doing as well as can be expected for a baby at her age. We are taking each hour as it comes." On April 6, 2010, after nearly four months in the hospital, Michelle and Jim Bob were able to take Josie to their rental in Little Rock, while they awaited the okay to take her home to Tontitown. However, on April 8, 2010, Josie Duggar was readmitted to the hospital after her vital signs dropped. Fortifiers that had been added to breast milk to help her gain weight appeared to be the cause. The Duggars were able to take Josie home to Tontitown on June 23, 2010. Michelle said Josie was doing well and weighed about nine pounds. By that December she weighed 15 lbs. 12 ounces.
The couple had discussed the possibility of having more children, with Michelle Duggar saying,
We would love more! I'm 43, almost 44 this September. I know that my mommy years are probably numbered, and I don't know how many more children God will see fit to give me. ... [I]t is something we've been praying about because we do love children. Each child really is a gift and that doesn't mean just our children. We asked the Lord to give us a love of children the way He loves children. That is something that we've prayed about, and we'll just see what the Lord has in store for our family in the future.
On November 8, 2011, Michelle Duggar and family appeared on NBC's Today Show to announce that she was expecting their 20th child. On December 8, 2011, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar revealed that she miscarried. Six days later, they held a memorial service for their stillborn girl whom they named Jubilee Shalom (which means celebration and peace).
A few months after the birth of their daughter, Mackynzie, Josh and Anna learned that she was pregnant with their second child. However, the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage. On Mackynzie's first birthday, Josh and Anna learned that they were expecting again and that the baby was a boy. The couple welcomed their second child, Michael James, on June 15, 2011. They learned that they were pregnant again in September 2012, right after the family got back from their Asia trip. During Anna's pregnancy with their third child, Josh was offered a job at Family Research Council. Marcus Anthony was delivered by a midwife on June 2, 2013. On June 18, 2013, it was announced that Josh was hired to be the executive director of the Family Research Council's political action committee and that he and his family would be moving to Washington, D.C.
On September 18, 2013, it was announced that Jessa Duggar is in a courtship, with Ben Seewald, whom she met through their church and that the couple were "enjoying getting to know each other and are recommending sermons to one another." On August 15, 2014, after 11 months of courting, it was announced that Ben and Jessa were engaged. Ben and Jessa were married on November 1, 2014.
On March 31, 2014, it was announced that Jill had been in a courtship with Derick Dillard since November 2013. They were introduced by Jim Bob, who told People magazine that "I felt like from the beginning, they had similar personalities and goals. I thought they would hit it off". They got to know each other via supervised Skype and text conversations while Derick was serving as a missionary in Nepal, before meeting in person. After five months of courtship, it was announced on April 9, 2014 that the couple is engaged. Derick and Jill were married on June 21, 2014. It was announced on August 20, 2014, that Jill and Derick are pregnant with their first child, due March 2015. On October 21, 2014, it was announced that the couple are expecting a baby boy.
- James Robert "Jim Bob" Duggar – born July 18, 1965 
- Michelle Annette Duggar (née Ruark) – born  September 13, 1966
|Name[better source needed]||Date of birth||Notes|
|1||Joshua James "Josh" Duggar||March 3, 1988||Married to Anna Duggar with three children|
|2||Jana Marie Duggar||January 12, 1990|
|4||Jill Michelle Dillard||May 17, 1991||Married to Derick Dillard, pregnant with a boy|
|5||Jessa Lauren Seewald||November 4, 1992||Married to Ben Seewald|
|6||Jinger Nicole Duggar||December 21, 1993|
|7||Joseph Garrett Duggar||January 20, 1995|
|8||Josiah Matthew Duggar||August 28, 1996|
|9||Joy-Anna Duggar||October 28, 1997|
|10||Jedidiah Robert Duggar||December 30, 1998|
|11||Jeremiah Robert Duggar|
|12||Jason Michael Duggar||April 21, 2000|
|13||James Andrew Duggar||July 7, 2001|
|14||Justin Samuel Duggar||November 15, 2002|
|15||Jackson Levi Duggar||May 23, 2004|
|16||Johannah Faith Duggar||October 11, 2005|
|17||Jennifer Danielle Duggar||August 2, 2007|
|18||Jordyn-Grace Makiya Duggar||December 18, 2008|
|19||Josie Brooklyn Duggar||December 10, 2009|
|Name||Date of birth|
|1||Mackynzie Renée Duggar||October 8, 2009|
|2||Michael James Duggar||June 15, 2011|
|3||Marcus Anthony Duggar||June 2, 2013|
||This section of a biographical article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2014)|
|Mary Duggar||Jim Bob's mother||Lives with the family|
|Jimmy Lee Duggar||Jim Bob's father||1936–2009 (aged 73)|
|Deanna Duggar Jordan||Jim Bob's sister||Appears in two episodes in season 3; appear in "A Duggar leaves home" that featured her daughter Amy|
|Amy Rachelle Duggar||Jim Bob's niece||Sang "Amazing Grace" in the closing credits of the episode of her grandfather's funeral. Appeared in a few episodes and was featured in "A Duggar leaves home".|
|Garrett Floyde Ruark||Michelle's father||1924–2010 (aged 85); appears in one episode|
|Priscilla Lynn Waller (née Keller)||Anna's sister||Stayed at the Duggar home in late 2010 to help care for the younger children. She is married to David Waller. They have a son, named Paul William (born March 16, 2013) and a daughter, named Davia Lynn (born November 12, 2014).|
|Susanna Keller||Anna's sister||Appears in two episodes in season 2; has a daughter|
|Dan Dillard||Derick's brother||Appears in season 9.|
The most often recurring guests (other than relatives) are the Bates family from Tennessee. Because they are so similar to the Duggars (having 19 kids of their own), they have become close friends. In 2012, there was a spin-off series featuring the Bates family, called United Bates of America.
Other notable guests
- Kirk Cameron – two episodes (in seasons 2 and 6)
- Bethany Hamilton (professional surfer) – season 5, episode 6
- Dan Harris of Good Morning America – season 7, episode 12
- Dolly Parton – two episodes in season 3
- Charles Stanley (minister) – season 6, episode 3
- Meredith Vieira of The Today Show
- Steve Conley former NFL player, who is Jim Bob and Josh's personal trainer
- Walker Hayes singer/song writer of the song for Jill and Derick's proposal
|Season 2||February 23, 2010||3|
|Season 3||April 27, 2010 & March 13, 2012||3|
|Season 4||April 5, 2011 & April 17, 2012||4|
|Season 5||May 1, 2012 ||4|
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