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Jon & Kate draw 9.8 million rubberneckers... including me

by Joel Keller, posted May 27th 2009 11:22AM
Jon & Kate on the loveseat... very awkward...You just knew that the perfect storm of tabloid stories, very effective ads and promos, and a holiday where nothing else was on was going to make for boffo ratings for the Jon & Kate Plus 8 season premiere. But the numbers are staggering by almost any standard: 9.8 million people viewed the train wreck on Monday night, surpassing the numbers for any network -- broadcast or cable -- that night and doubling TLC's previous high water mark. What was that mark? The season four finale of Jon & Kate, of course.

I can't cast any aspersions on the size of the audience, because I gladly flipped on TLC to see the 73 minutes of extreme discomfort. And, boy, did I hate myself for doing it.

I've watched J&K on and off since just about the beginning, so it's not like I'm parachuting in and passing judgment on the two after just watching Monday's premiere. I knew about their history, about Kate's penchant for treating Jon like a child, Jon's "what did I get myself into?" face, etc. But through all that, it was their day-to-day with their kids that usually carried the show.

This one felt different, and not in a good way. The show became less about bringing up eight kids, including sextuplets, and it became about Jon and Kate dealing with the fame they courted themselves. And now it seems that we're going to be spending the season watching them go on their adventures individually, taking chunks of the kids with them instead of the entire brood. Heck, even the reruns of the old episodes that TLC aired prior to Monday's premiere seemed too sad to watch given the circumstances surrounding the couple.

I get the feeling a lot of the people who watched the show Monday night -- whether they were fans or just there to gawk -- felt the same way. So, I hope TLC enjoys their day in the sun, because those numbers are going to go down in a hurry.

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Anita McIlveen

My heart is saddened by what this family is going through. Admittedly, some of it has been brought on by themselves, but who of us can see the future? I think they both need to get back to basics. Remember their first love for each other; get the children into church and Sunday School (if they go, we are not seeing it on their show), get counselling; get their priorities straightened out and see what happens. They need to take a step back and see that they weathered the hardest five years and now the children will all be in school. Surely, the next five years has to be easier!
They claim to be Christian and I have enjoyed the values they instill in their children. I would like to see them live (and talk) more about their faith as they put it to the test.

May 30 2009 at 4:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Samantha

I am sooo shocked at all of the comments about Kate. Are you watching the same show?? She is an amazing woman!! Regardless of the $$ value of anything, she honestly is doing it ALL for the kids. I don't care if it's worth $20.00 or $20 million, she will do it so her kids will be blessed. As one who has already successfully raised 3 amazing adults to not only survive but thrive, I want to whisper to Kate, they will be fine, they don't NEED everything!! I know you want to give them everything, but continue to just be YOU Kate and love them and they will be life changing adults!! I am sure of it. She is an amazing woman. What show are you people watching? Jon NEVER gave her any respect or love. She would laugh at his jokes even though most were backwards put downs towards her, she would honor him, she would support him in his decisions. I just don't know what show you people are watching?? She has 8 people living in her house under 8 years old. YOU HAVE to be in control. You have to be a bit obsessive. You have to be an organizer, a multi-tasker and a boss. She not only is raising those kids, but she is running a business. Allowing the TV show but being sure she is on top of all fo that. To me, she is what women are fighting for. She is DOING it all. And what does she get?? Hate filled words and attitudes that have NOTHING to do with reality. Jon needs to LOVE his wife. Treat her like a human, compassionately understand her control issues as she is the one that has caused their success. What a shame that a woman who has shown this much success is trashed and her husband becomes the victim. Successful strong women just cannot be shown on a weekly basis on TV, because the world DOES NOT accept it!! I love you Kate. I think you are amazing and there are SOME of us out here who actually GET IT! And we also KNOW you will cause this marriage to succeed. Whether it's together, or you divorce. You will be the voice of reason and strength and you will be the wisdom behind your future!! Blessings!!

May 30 2009 at 2:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joanna, RN

First of all -- Kate's brother, Kevin and his wife, Jodi, need to butt out and keep their mouths shut. Jodi was perfectly happy to be on earlier shows, but now decides that she is the arbiter of what is good or evil about Jon, Kate and their family. Kevin needs to get a backbone and put a muzzle on her.
Kevin and Jodi have no idea how much it takes to raise 8 children, all close to the same age, and until they have walked a mile in Jon and Kate's shoes, they should shut up. Helping out occasionally, is NOT the same as being responsible 24/7.
Jon made a serious mistake, and needs to apologize to Kate. He needs to go out and get another job to re-establish his ego, and stop whining about the show. Look at the opportunities he has been given for himself and his family. EVERY gift comes with an obligation and he should realize this. Just because they now have a VERY healthy bank account, does not mean that he can cut out on a whim and decide that he doesn't like what he signed up for. Finish the contract and THEN decide if he wants to sign up again. Children are very versatile, and adapt well to changing circumstances.
Kate needs to loosen up and cut back on the book signings, and make the children her first priority. Yes -- she can be overbearing and rude, but SOMEBODY needs to be in charge, and apparently, she is IT.
EVERY couple sets their own parameters that work for them, and just because we might not tolerate something in a spouse, does NOT mean that Jon and Kate have not worked out an arrangement that works for them.
Kate seems rude and overbearing, but Jon also protects himself by being passive-aggressive -- he has chosen that defense, and if they need help, they should get it from a certified marriage counsellor -- and not listen to her brother and s-in-law, or the world-at-large.

May 29 2009 at 11:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Paisley

Personally I think it is funny that Kate is so upset about the paparazzi folllowing her around, you wanted to do the show, you have to deal with the consequences. If you're an actor, same thing....you wanted fame and now you have it. Stop bitching! Being a parent doesn't make you a celebrity even if you are parenting on tv!

I remember watching the first one hour special, and thinking what a challenge it is for these two parents raising all these children, but look at how loved they are. I didn't really feel that in this episode. It seemed it was all about giving them a great birthday party for appearances sake...and then 'talking' about their relationship. I was disappointed there wasn't any talk about how much they love each other and want to work it out. I agree, stop doing the show and save your marriage.

I don't understand how Kate can call being on a book tour her job, and the tv show her job. I'm sorry but if you hadn't had 8 children, you wouldn't have this 'job'. Other parents have that job, and they are not on television every day! In the early days they were both working parents, she worked evenings, he worked during the day so one of them could be around to watch the kids, couldn't afford child care, or anything else. Now they have childcare, it's just not shown on camera!

If Jon quit his job two yrs ago they obviously didn't need the money anymore because of making money off the tv show. why doesn't he just go back to another job then that makes him happy? Obviously they can afford babysitters or nannies now, Kate has her very own bodyguard for pete's sake! Money is not an issue, you have that beautiful house on how many acres?? Think of all the things they can provide for their children now, that they couldn't before the tv show. I would think once you have some security, enough would be enough! But apparently it's not!

May 28 2009 at 10:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Ruth Merrriner

I agree that kaye is at times overbaring.
But I believe living with Jon has created a lot of this. The children are mannerly and well behaved and welcome most any place they go or visit. This I believe is one of the highest honors you can give to your children.
That they are aways welcomed.
The family when babysitting have give them praise for this and they curiosity of the 8 children is wonderful to watch. Now is Jon could realize that the life he chose is here and now. I say grow-up Jon.

May 28 2009 at 5:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Laurrox31

I think we are all forgeting something.. we really don't KNOW these people.. we know what TLC wants us to know. The show is taped for a total of 4 days at the house including the commentary. What is edited out and what is pieced together, we just don't know. In reality tv producers make "charecters" out of people. For all we know, Kate hardly ever acts that way and that is all they show us, or maybe she is 100 times worse and they don't show us that. There is also a posibility this is all for ratings and there really isn't a problem between them.
All I know is, the kids have lived w/ cameras for more than half of their lives now. They are worth 10 million dollars +. I think it's time to pull the plug for those two facts alone.

May 28 2009 at 5:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

Part of the guilty pleasure of watching this show from the beginning was marveling at the seething cloud of passive/aggressive rage constantly hovering over both of the parents.

Watching her spazz all the time with her OCD/anger management/narcissitic personality disorder/control freak issues; watching him with his passive-aggresive/conflict avoidance/constant state of denial issues - it's like a how-not-to-be-a-couple documentary with commercials about some cute kids.

I think this show should be required viewing for psychology students. You could write a thesis on the body language alone.

May 28 2009 at 9:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ERIC

the television trauma on those children does`nt even play a fiddle to the trauma those young`uns will experience if ma & pa don`t keep that home in tact. stop the fool`in around, commit to one another. they love one another, show us for those precious babies.

as a career, unmarried usaf man, i watch in envy, what a great bunch of kids. hold it together for yourselves and that great family you have. you are very blessed......the sarge

May 28 2009 at 1:02 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Concerned Mom

Kate is exploiting her marriage and family for celebrity and money. If, as she constantly maintains, she was there for her children, she would get her head out of the clouds and see to repairing her marriage. Those beautiful children derserve a Mom and a Dad. Who can blame Jon if he stepped out for some fun? The way Kate treats Jon is embarassing. Whipping boy is what comes to mind. I think that neither Jon or Kate anticipated the firestorm that the popularity of the show has created. Count your blessings and get out! Money & fame do not buy happiness. Jon, go back to work outside your home to your chosen profession. Do not let Kate force you to do things that you are not comfortable with. Kate, go get psychiatric help! You are a controlling bully. You obviously have anger and control issues Sad part of that is, Maddie is turning out to be just like you! She could use some discipline, but that's another story! Does anyone ever wonder why Kates' extended family is not invovled in thier lives? The lady (and I use that term loosely) is a bitch. I'm sure that she drove them away with her irratic behavior, just as she's driving Jon away. She's more interested in Kate than her kids. Get over yourself Kate. You are not that special! In fact Kate, who do you love more...your kids or yourself? Selfish..selfish...selfish!

May 28 2009 at 12:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Mary

Helllooo, this is a TV show. What are TV shows about? Acting! Why do you think J&K+8 is any different? Scandal will sell faster than milk and honey every time, look how much more attention they are getting. I bet her books are selling faster than ever.

If this is not all for publicity: Her brother and sister-in-law should shut their mouths and stop making $$$ off the family situation. Jon you should take your balls back from Kate. Kate get off your high horse.

May 28 2009 at 12:14 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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