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19 Kids and Counting

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19 Kids and Counting
19 Kids and Counting logo.jpg
Also known as 17 Kids and Counting (2008–09)
18 Kids and Counting (2009)
Genre Reality
Starring The Duggar Family
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 10
No. of episodes 227 (plus specials) (list of episodes)
Executive producer(s)
Producer(s) Sean Overbeeke
Camera setup Multiple
Running time 17–44 minutes
Production company(s) Figure 8 Films
Original channel TLC
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original release September 29, 2008 (2008-09-29)
External links

19 Kids and Counting (formerly 17 Kids and Counting and 18 Kids and Counting) is an American reality television show that aired on the cable channel TLC. The show was about the Duggar family: parents Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and their 19 children—nine girls and ten boys, all of whose names begin with the letter "J". Since the show began, three of the children have been married, and several grandchildren have been born.

The series began on September 29, 2008. Season ten began on February 17, 2015.[1]

On May 22, 2015, TLC suspended airing the show after the Duggars' eldest son, Josh, confirmed reports that when he was between the ages of 14 to 15 years old, he molested five girls, some of whom were his sisters, by fondling their breast and genital region on multiple occasions while they slept, and in a few cases while they were awake. These events occurred prior to the beginning of the show.[2][3][4][5][6]


The Duggars live in Tontitown, Arkansas, and originally appeared in several TLC and Discovery Health one-hour specials, mostly focused on four of Michelle's last five deliveries.[7][8] Jim Bob Duggar has an 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 experienced a religious conversion.[9] Jim Bob and Michelle were married on July 21, 1984.[10]

The Duggars chose to wait before having children and used birth control pills in the early years of their marriage. Their eldest child, Joshua, was born in 1988. They resumed using oral contraceptives after Josh's birth but conceived again despite this precaution. Michelle miscarried that pregnancy. Michelle has mentioned that they named that child Caleb, despite not knowing the baby's sex for certain.[11] The Duggars believed the miscarriage was due to their use of contraceptives, and decided to stop using birth control. They decided to "allow God to determine the number of children they would have."[12] Michelle soon became pregnant again, this time with her first set of twins, Jana and John-David. Michelle has given birth 17 times (twice with twins) over a period of 21 and a half years, approximately one birth every 15 months.

The Duggars are devout Independent Baptists[13] and are adherents of the Christian patriarchy movement.[14] They only watch programs they consider to be wholesome family television and various historical events. Their Internet service is filtered. They adhere to certain standards of modesty in clothing in accordance with their religious beliefs. Shorts and tank tops are prohibited, and the women do not wear skirts with a length above the knee. According to Michelle, the Duggars feel that exposure of the thighs amounts to "nakedness and shame", and runs the risk of "defrauding" others by encouraging lustful thoughts. They avoid beaches and swimming in public to negate the possibility of exposure to other women and "lustful thoughts" by their men.[15] Female family members do not cut their hair short, and males are clean-shaven and short-haired. They practice chaperoned courtship, instead of typical dating, which includes rules against such things as any physical contact. The suitor must ask permission from the young woman's father before approaching her for a courtship and before proposing to her.[citation needed]

The children are homeschooled using a mix of materials, including "Switched On Schoolhouse", Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP), and Accelerated Christian Education (ACE).[16] Several of the older children use the CollegePlus! program for post-secondary studies.[17]

The Duggars use a buddy system to raise their children, in which an older child is assigned to a younger sibling and assists in the latter's primary care. According to Michelle, "They help 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."[18]

Michelle Duggar won the 2004 "Young Mother of the Year Award" in Arkansas, which is sponsored by American Mothers Incorporated.[19]

Jim Bob Duggar served in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1999 to 2002. He was defeated for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate by incumbent Tim Hutchinson in 2002 by a vote of 71,576 to 20,546.[20] He later became a real estate agent and investor. The Duggars' income is derived from rental proceeds of commercial properties they own.[21][22] They live debt-free,[23][24] which Jim Bob Duggar has said is "the fruit of Jim Sammons' Financial Freedom Seminar" which he attended years ago[citation needed]. (Sammons' Seminar is endorsed by IBLP.).

Construction of their 7,000 square-foot (650 square-meter) house began in 2000 when they bought the lot and ordered the frame. Discovery Networks completed it, 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[22] entitled 16 Children and Moving In.

Events during the series

Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar

Michelle gave birth via emergency Caesarean section to Josie Brooklyn on December 10, 2009, three months prematurely. Michelle was rushed to the hospital for gallstones, and when the doctors discovered she had pre-eclampsia, performed an emergency delivery. Josie weighed 1 pound 6 ounces (0.62 kg) 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 medical approval to take her home to Tontitown.[25][26]

The Duggars took Josie home to Tontitown for good on June 23, 2010. Michelle said Josie was doing well and weighed about nine pounds.[citation needed] By that December she weighed 15 pounds 12 ounces (7.1 kg).[27]

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.[28]

On December 2, 2008, Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar's book The Duggars: 20 and Counting! was released.[29] Their second book, A Love That Multiplies, was released on June 7, 2011.[30]

On November 8, 2011, Michelle Duggar and family appeared on NBC's Today Show to announce that she was expecting their 20th child.[31] On December 8, 2011, Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar announced that she had miscarried.[32] Six days later, they held a memorial service for the stillborn baby girl that they named Jubilee Shalom (which means celebration and peace).[33][34]

A few months after the birth of their daughter, Mackynzie, Josh and Anna learned that she was pregnant with their second child, but the pregnancy ended in a miscarriage.[35] On Mackynzie's first birthday, Josh and Anna announced they were expecting again, and 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's return from its Asia trip.

Josh was offered a job at Family Research Council during Anna's pregnancy with their third child. Marcus Anthony was delivered by a midwife on June 2, 2013. Josh announced that he was hired to be the executive director of the Family Research Council's political action committee on June 18, 2013, and the family would move to Washington, D.C.[36]

On December 2, 2014, Josh and Anna announced that they are expecting their fourth child.[37] On March 2, 2015, they reported that this baby is a girl, due in early July 2015.[38]

The Duggars issued an announcement that Jessa Duggar was in a courtship with Ben Seewald on September 18, 2013. The couple met through their church and were "enjoying getting to know each other and are recommending sermons to one another."[39][40]

On August 15, 2014, after eleven months of courtship, Ben and Jessa announced their engagement.[41][42] Ben and Jessa were married on November 1, 2014.[43]

Jill's courtship with Derrick Dillard was announced on March 31, 2014. They were introduced by Jim Bob and became acquainted via supervised Skype and text conversations while Derick was serving as a missionary in Nepal. Jill and Jim Bob traveled to Nepal to meet Derick in person and began a formal courtship in November 2013.[44] The couple announced their engagement on April 9, 2014,[45] and were married on June 21, 2014.[46][47]

Jill and Derick announced Jill's first pregnancy on August 20, 2014. The child, Israel David Dillard, was born on April 6, 2015.[48]

Jessa and Ben announced Jessa's first pregnancy on April 21, 2015. The child is due on their first wedding anniversary, November 1, 2015.[49] They also waited until the second trimester to announce the pregnancy.[50]

Josh's molestation controversy

On May 21, 2015, a police report from 2006 was revealed to the public, stating sexual molestation allegations against Josh Duggar. The report states that in 2002-2003 Josh, then 14 to 15 years old fondled five girls, including four of his sisters, by touching their breast and genital region on multiple occasions while they were asleep and in a few cases while awake.[51][52] The case was never fully investigated, and the statute of limitations has expired.[51]

Josh, along with his parents and his wife, confirmed the report. Josh apologized, stating that he "acted inexcusably", and resigned from his position at the Family Research Council. Jim Bob and Michelle described the incident as a dark period in their lives and stated that the incidents caused the family "to seek God like never before." Anna stated that she knew about his actions two years before she married him, and believed that the counseling he received after the incident "changed his life."[53]

As a result of the report, General Mills has stated that it has "blacklisted" the show and removed it from its current advertising schedule.[54] On May 22, 2015, TLC removed the show from its current airing schedule.[55] On May 23, 2015, TMZ reported that insider sources say they are considering multiple options with respect to the future of the reality program including: canceling the show; continuing the show as is; or continuing the show without Josh.[56]

Duggar family



Name Date of birth Notes
1 Joshua James "Josh" (1988-03-03) March 3, 1988 (age 27)[58] Married to Anna Keller with three children (and expecting a fourth)
2 Jana Marie (1990-01-12) January 12, 1990 (age 25)[58][59]
3 John-David
4 Jill Michelle (Dillard) (1991-05-17) May 17, 1991 (age 24) Married to Derick Dillard;[59] they have one son[48]
5 Jessa Lauren (Seewald) (1992-11-04) November 4, 1992 (age 22)[59] Married to Ben Seewald;[43] expecting first child[60]
6 Jinger Nicole (1993-12-21) December 21, 1993 (age 21)[59]
7 Joseph Garrett (1995-01-20) January 20, 1995 (age 20)[61][62]
8 Josiah Matthew (1996-08-28) August 28, 1996 (age 18)[58] In a courtship with Marjorie Jackson[63]
9 Joy-Anna (1997-10-28) October 28, 1997 (age 17)[59]
10 Jedidiah Robert (1998-12-30) December 30, 1998 (age 16)[58]
11 Jeremiah Robert
12 Jason Michael (2000-04-21) April 21, 2000 (age 15)[58]
13 James Andrew (2001-07-07) July 7, 2001 (age 13)[58]
14 Justin Samuel (2002-11-15) November 15, 2002 (age 12)[58]
15 Jackson Levi[64] (2004-05-23) May 23, 2004 (age 11)[58]
16 Johannah Faith[65] (2005-10-14) October 14, 2005 (age 9)[59]
17 Jennifer Danielle[66] (2007-08-02) August 2, 2007 (age 7)[59]
18 Jordyn-Grace Makiya[67] (2008-12-18) December 18, 2008 (age 6)[59]
19 Josie Brooklyn[68] (2009-12-10) December 10, 2009 (age 5)[59]

Josh's family

Josh married Anna Renée Keller (born (1988-06-23) June 23, 1988 (age 26))[citation needed] on September 26, 2008. On December 2, 2014, they announced that they are expecting their fourth child. On March 2, 2015, they announced that it would be a girl.

Name Date of birth Notes
1 Mackynzie Renée (2009-10-08) October 8, 2009 (age 5)[69]
2 Michael James (2011-06-15) June 15, 2011 (age 3)[70]
3 Marcus Anthony (2013-06-02) June 2, 2013 (age 1)[71]

Jill's family

Jill married Derick Dillard (born (1989-03-09) March 9, 1989 (age 26))[citation needed] on June 21, 2014. She gave birth to a son named Israel, on April 6, 2015.[48]


Name Date of Birth Notes
1 Israel David (2015-04-06)April 6, 2015 (age &&&&&&&&&&&&&0491 month 19 days)

Jessa's family

Jessa married Benjamin "Ben" Seewald (born (1995-05-19) May 19, 1995 (age 20))[citation needed] on November 1, 2014. They announced on April 21, 2015 that they are expecting their first baby.

Guests appearing

Family members

Name Relationship Notes
Mary Duggar Jim Bob's mother Lives with the family[citation needed]
Jimmy Lee Duggar Jim Bob's father 1936–2009 (aged 73)[citation needed]
Deanna Duggar Jordan Jim-Bob's sister[citation needed] Appears in two episodes in season three and in the A Duggar Leaves Home special
Amy Rachelle Duggar[72][73] Jim Bob's niece Appears in several episodes and is featured in A Duggar Leaves Home (where she goes on to pursue a career as a country music artist); in Tennessee[74] sang "Amazing Grace" in the closing credits of the episode of her grandfather's funeral
Garrett Floyde Ruark Michelle's father 1924–2010 (aged 85); appeared in one episode[citation needed]
Priscilla Lynn Waller (née Keller) Anna's sister Stayed at the Duggar home in late 2010 to help care for the younger children; married to David Waller; they have a son, Paul, and a daughter, Davia[75][76]
Susanna Keller Anna's sister A bridesmaid in Anna's wedding and has made brief cameos on the show[citation needed]


Bates family

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. They returned to television with a new show on January 1, 2015 titled Bringing Up Bates.[citation needed]

Other notable guests



Title Region 1 Discs
Season 1 2009[77] 2
Season 2 February 23, 2010[78] 3
Season 3 April 27, 2010[79] & March 13, 2012[80] 3
Season 4 April 5, 2011[81] & April 17, 2012[82] 4
Season 5 May 1, 2012 [83] 4

Online releases

Episodes of the series are available for download from the iTunes Store, Amazon Instant Video, and Microsoft's Zune Marketplace.


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External links