We’re only a few days into 2018, but it’s already been a hectic year for the Duggar family.
Things got off to a promising start with the announcement that Jinger Duggar is expecting her first child.
It wasn’t long, however, before the Duggars were facing down yet another scandal, this one having to do with their beloved TLC reality show, Counting On.
For the past several months, reports that Counting On would be canceled by the network have been circulating non-stop on social media.
Some insiders have blamed declining ratings.
Others have insisted that the show was canceled because of Derick Dillard and his transphobic tweets.
Whatever the reason, there was a time when it seemed apparent that the Duggars would not be returning TLC.
The time when a new season should have been announced came and went without any official word from the family or the network.
Just as fans were beginning to give up hope, however, Jana and Joy-Anna Duggar were spotted filming at a beauty salon near their hometown of Tontitown, Arkansas.
Sure enough, shortly thereafter, the Duggars official fan blog–operated by two close family friends–announced that Counting On will be returning to television on February 26.
Fans rejoiced, but it now looks as though their celebrations may have been premature.
Thus far, the blog post from the Duggars’ friends is the only “official” mention of the show’s return.
There’s been no advertising, no word from TLC, not even any social media posts from the Duggars themselves on the subject.
Needless to say, it’s a bit odd that with just weeks remaining until the premiere date, there hasn’t been so much as a teaser trailer from TLC.
And that’s not the only reason to belive fans may have been misled:
As several fan sites have pointed out, the camera crew filming Jana and Joy-Anna is the only production staff that’s been spotted in Tontitown.
With a population of less than 2,500, not much occurs in the town without the knowledge of its residents.
Locals say the whole county usually knows when the Duggars filming, but this time around, they’ve spotted just one relatively small procuction crew.
The odd situation has resulted in a number of fan theories:
Some believe that the Duggars are misleading fans, hence why an announcement was made with the family’s approval, but not by any of the actual family members, thus allowing them to back away from the statement if it proves inaccurate.
Others suspect the Duggars are transitioning toward a self-produced web series, which would explain the lack of promotional material and reduced production staff.
Still others think that TLC has simply cut production costs in response to lower ratings, which has resulted in a smaller production staff, a reduced number of episodes, and limited marketing.
Whatever the case, it seems that there have been some considerable changes in the relationship between the Duggars and the network that made them famous.
And we’re guessing that one way or another, those changes will be readily apparent come February 26.
Watch Counting On online for more on reality TV’s most famous family.