June 23, 2009 / 11:45 PM / 10 years ago

"Jon & Kate" breakup wins large TV audience

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - If misery loves company, then reality TV couple Jon and Kate Gosselin had plenty of both Monday night when millions of viewers watched on television as the parents of eight announced they were breaking up.

Cable channel TLC, which airs reality show “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” on Tuesday said that the previous night’s episode attracted its biggest prime-time audience ever at 10.6 million total viewers with 6.5 million of those in the key 18-49 age group, a demographic sought by advertisers.

The episode aired the same day Kate Gosselin filed legal papers for divorce in the couple’s home state of Pennsylvania.

The Gosselins are famous for having twins and sextuplets, which made for a crowded house, and the show documented their family’s trials and triumphs as the kids grew up.

But their relationship had increasingly turned sour, and the Gosselins became fodder for celebrity press and paparazzi that speculated about extra-marital affairs in the weeks leading up to Monday night’s telecast.

Cable channel TLC is a unit of Maryland-based Discovery Communications.

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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