Hulu CEO Leaves Door Open for '19 Kids and Counting' Episodes to Return


Mike Hopkins says the episodes of the TLC reality show have been removed "for the time being."

Hulu removed episodes of 19 Kids and Counting late Wednesday in the wake of the Josh Duggar scandal, but the TLC reality show may not be gone from the site for good.

In an interview with CNN Thursday, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins said that the show has been taken down "for the time being," but left open the possibility that old episodes may once again be offered on the site in the future.

Controversy has plagued 19 Kids and Counting for days following allegations that Duggar molested several underage girls — including his sisters — 12 years ago.

Hopkins told CNN the decision to take down the show "wasn't an advertising decision at all" for Hulu. Instead, he says, the streaming giant was following the moves of TLC, which pulled the series from its schedule last Friday and subsequently pulled episodes from its website on Wednesday. "We're partners. We license the show from them," said Hopkins. "And of course, as you know, they took it off of their platforms, so we did the same."

Hulu has a deal with TLC's parent company Discovery Communications and several other TLC shows, including The Little Couple and Say Yes to the Dress, are still available for Hulu Plus subscribers. 

News of Duggar's alleged past behavior leaked last Thursday, and the 27-year-old, who's now married with three children, immediately apologized for his "wrongdoing."

"Twelve years ago, as a young teenager, I acted inexcusably for which I am extremely sorry and deeply regret. I hurt others, including my family and close friends. I confessed this to my parents who took several steps to help me address the situation," said Duggar. "We spoke with the authorities, where I confessed my wrongdoing, and my parents arranged for me and those affected by my actions to receive counseling. I understood that if I continued down this wrong road that I would end up ruining my life. I sought forgiveness from those I had wronged and asked Christ to forgive me and come into my life. I would do anything to go back to those teen years and take different actions. In my life today, I am so very thankful for God’s grace, mercy and redemption."

Since TLC yanked reruns of the show from its schedule, nearly a dozen companies have pulled their advertising from future episodes of the TLC reality show. CVS Pharmacy, Ace Hardware, ConAgra Foods, Pure Leaf Iced Tea, Behr Paint, Ricola, Party City, General Mills, Walgreens, Payless ShoeSource and Choice Hotels all have parted ways with the TLC series.

It remains to be seen if TLC will take further action against 19 Kids and Counting, which has been on the air since 2008 and has become one of the cable channel's biggest brands over the course of the show's 15-season run.