‘Counting On’: The Return of Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar Causes Mixed Reactions from Fans

Earlier in the month, TLC officially announced the return of Counting On, the show that revolves around the Duggar kids as they get married and start families of their own. As more siblings join the marriage club, there is no shortage of new footage. That footage isn’t exactly fresh and unique though. Over the last couple of seasons, fans have suggested the production house is reaching for storylines, and the most recent trailer might be proof of that. Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar appear to be returning to the show in a big way, and fans aren’t really sure how they feel about it.

Where were Jim Bob and Michelle cut from the lineup

Jim Bob and Michelle were the targets of much ire when it was revealed that their then-teenaged son, Joshua Duggar, had molested several of his siblings. The way the parents of 19 children dealt with the situation and subsequent fallout called their parenting into question, and TLC made the difficult decision to nix the family’s reality TV show, 19 Kids and Counting. It wasn’t long before the Duggar family was back on television, but a few familiar faces were missing from the reimagined lineup. Josh was ousted from the cast, as were his parents, Jim Bob and Michelle.

Michelle Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar appear on NBC News' "Today" show
Michelle Duggar and Jim Bob Duggar | Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Jim Bob and Michelle seemingly sacrificed themselves to ensure the family’s media brand wouldn’t completely disintegrate. That has worked out well. In the years since Josh was revealed as deeply troubled, several more Duggar kids have gotten married and joined the lineup up of the reimagined show, Counting On. The dust has also, seemingly, settled for the network and it appears as though they are ready to bring Jim Bob and Michelle back into the fold in a much more significant role.

The Season 10 trailer indicated Jim Bob and Michelle will be much more visible

TLC recently released the trailer for Counting On’s 10th season. While the show looks like it will cover most of the heartbreaking experiences that the Duggar family has endured over the last several months, eagle-eyed fans noticed that the trailer was a little heavy on Jim Bob and Michelle.

In fact, several episodes of the new season seem to revolve around the parents who started the media empire in the first place. The show will cover the accidental death of Mary Duggar, Jim Bob’s mother. It makes sense that the pair would appear in that episode, but there are a few other incidents that make fan think the couple will be returning in a full castmember capacity.

Jim Bob and Michelle appear in a segment about babysitting and Michelle also appears in an interview segment regarding Jinger Duggar’s decision to wear pants. In short, the pair are seemingly making a full-time comeback to television, but fans aren’t exactly sure how to feel.

Fans have mixed feelings about their return

Fans were quick to take to the internet to discuss the upcoming season of Counting On. While many were excited about the next season, the most prominent topic of conversation was the appearance of Jim Bob and Michelle. Some fans were oddly happy to see the pair returning to the show, while other’s are troubled by what their reemergence could mean for the future of the series.

One Reddit user noted that it looks like the family is desperately trying to get everyone back on TV. The user said, “its interesting in this trailer JB & Meech were so present. They’re working on getting the whole family back on the show.. Anna was super promoted in this trailer too I found, so, who knows what they have up their sleeve. Most of the commentary n the trailer was JB & M.”  Another user suggested that the family has been testing the water for months by adding Josh back into background shots.

The addition of Jim Bob and Michelle may be a test by TLC to see how the whole family will do in future seasons. Ratings are allegedly slipping for the long-running reality series, so the network really doesn’t have much to lose.