In Pa., 'Jon & Kate Plus 8' Receives Labor Complaint

TLC's "Jon & Kate Plus 8" keeps on making the kind of news viewers love. Advertisers's reaction? Maybe not so much.

In today's "Jon & Kate + Brood": Pennsylvania's Labor Department has opened an investigation into whether the show is complying with state child labor laws, the Associated Press reports.

The Labor Department told the AP that it received a complaint against the series, which is shot in Pennsyslvania, and that it's "gathering information," but the agency would not say who filed the complaint or when.

You and I know that this bit of news comes closely on the heels of Kate's brother and sister-in law, Jodi and Kevin Kreider, hitting the morning infotainment circuit to tell the country how outraged they are about the show. They said Jon and Kate Gosselin are exploiting their children for financial gain. Ya think?

"Unfortunately, I think it has come down to all about the ratings...No one is looking at these children as what they are going through and the life consequences they are going to have as they get older," Jodi Kreider told "The Early Show."

"You can't imagine as a child realizing that 'my birthday party, that all the outings that my parents took me on were...for ratings and all organized by the production companies,' " chimed in Kate-brother-Kevin.

TLC issued a statement Friday saying the network "fully complies with all applicable laws and regulations" in producing and airing the show, and a network rep told the AP that the show tapes off and on, year round, for about two-three hours a day, two-three days a week.

The series -- about a couple raising their 8-year-old twins and their 5-year-old sextuplets -- debuted in April of 2007 and, for several seasons, hovered in the 1.4 million to 1.7 million-ish viewer range. Not bad, not brilliant.

Then, last March, you started seeing tab reports about Jon maybe stepping out on Kate. And, I'm ashamed to report, you started flocking to the show to see what all the noise was about. And the audience for the fourth-season finale, in March, skyrocketed to nearly 5 million viewers.

That encouraged more tab reports about Jon's alleged extracurricular activities -- and some about Kate, too -- and then word got out that the producers had taped interviews with Jon and Kate about their alleged affairs and their relationship, such as it is, which was like crack for 10 million people who sat glued to their TV's for the fifth-season opener this past Memorial Day.

In case you did not see it, what you missed were some bits in which Jon and Kate spoke separately to the camera about their rocky relationship, hard to be in the spotlight, blah, blah, blah. Also, one bit in which they were interviewed together but did not seem to look at each other much, but continued to each pitch their side of the story to the camera. In between this drama, there was some footage about the sextuplets' birthday party -- which was supposed to have been the star of the season debut.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  May 29, 2009; 7:55 PM ET TV News
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