TLC President-GM Eileen O'Neill opened her network's session at TCA Thursday afternoon with a statement that the show will go on for Jon & Kate Plus 8, the hit show that has been on hiatus since series stars Jon and Kate Gosselin announced that they are divorcing.
"We will cover the family with great care and thoughtfulness as they deal with this subject. And this subject is familiar to many, many families," O'Neill says, noting that the series, which follows the couple raising their eight children, is scheduled to return Monday, Aug. 3. "We will continue to capture this family's journey in a responsible, sensitive way."
She says that while the split was something the network "never expected nor planned" it resulted in unprecedented television. The show has become something very different than initially conceived and the network has made changes to the set to accommodate.
"The iconic couch is gone, there will be separate interview chairs for Jon and Kate," O'Neill says.
Future episodes will feature Kate trying to put up a tent and getting "advice from her daughter who doesn't think she does it as well as Dad." Conversely, Jon will struggle to make pizza for the kids, she says.
Clearly eager to not get into further discussion about the show or TLC's decision to continue with it, O'Neill wrapped up her comments by asking people not to ask panelists about the show. She says she will address questions after the Discovery Networks sessions are all done. She then switched immediately to a satellite interview with Kelly Ripa and Mark Consuelos, who are producing upcoming TLC series Masters of Reception.
There is no panel at TCA for Jon & Kate.