NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. reality television show about a family with eight children was back on air on Monday — despite the parents splitting up.
The show “Jon & Kate Plus 8,” aired by cable channel TLC, resumed after a six-week hiatus spawned by the break-up of parents Jon and Kate Gosselin which sent ratings soaring.
As the series resumed its fifth season, the parents now living apart and taking turns looking after their 5-year-old sextuplets and twin girls.
For despite the split, the pair decided their lives and the lives of their children would continue to be led in the public spotlight and the show would go on.
The resumed series lacked the hostility between the couple of earlier shows and was dominated by mundane domestic issues such as renovations and recreation.
“This is a very, very difficult time right now ... but my main goal is to make this transition as easy and painless, if that’s possible, for the kids as possible,” said Kate Gosselin during one of two 30 minute episodes that resumed the series.
One notable change in the show, which is expected to continue with each parent taking turns staying in the home with the children, was greater commentary from the toddlers addressing the cameras directly.
Razzing their mother’s dubious outdoorsmanship in a second episode during which Kate and the children camped out in the backyard, they variously opined:
“She did a terrible job” trying to pitch a tent, and “We’d probably die if we lived in the nature with her” after she struggled to start a fire using a lighter.
“I am going to do things that I have never done before,” Kate vowed. “I have to. It is not their fault that what has transpired has transpired.”
The Gosselins are famous for having twins and sextuplets, which made for a crowded house, and the show documented the family’s trials and triumphs as the children grew up.
But the couple announced they were ending their 10-year marriage during a one-hour episode in June, ending months of speculation and reports about their deteriorating relationship and allegations of affairs, which created a tabloid media frenzy.
The break-up episode attracted TLC’s biggest prime-time audience ever at 10.6 million total viewers.
Cable channel TLC is a unit of Maryland-based Discovery Communications.