TV Critics Abandon Jon & Kate's Kids

TLC president and general manager Eileen O'Neill shoved a pacifier into the mouths of TV critics Thursday to keep them from asking irksome questions about Jon and Kate Gosselin during the network's time at the Summer TV Press Tour 2009.

That pacifier was a "statement" about the bitter, divorcing couple whose dysfunctional relationship has served up a ratings bonanza for the cable network.

Sadly, it worked. Not a peep from the press about whether the network has a responsibility to scrub "Jon & Kate Plus 8" to give the children some privacy and their parents a much-needed "reality" check.

Instead, the critics were content to ask Kelly Ripa questions on her new TLC reality show about a wedding facility in New Jersey. The Gosselin tots were on their own.

In her statement, O'Neill noted this past spring "life" had intervened into the Gosselin family show.

"It was certainly something we never expected, nor planned to have happen," O'Neill said, noting proudly "it has resulted in unprecedented television."

TLC cannot be shamed into giving up this cash cow, no matter how much you might think it's now hurting the Gosselin children.

But, O'Neill promised, TLC will cover the broken home "with great care and thoughtfulness."

Kind of like that episode TLC carefully and thoughtfully turned into an infomericial for a company that builds kids playhouses.

Anyway, the "big" "Jon & Kate" news is that the parents will no longer be interviewed on the couch together, O'Neill revealed.

And the "people and places that may be cycling into Jon and Kate's lives" will be handled on a "case by case basis." This is TV-suit speak for "Jon's various girlfriends may not make the show."

"This is real life," O'Neill said of the series.

As if.

By Lisa de Moraes  |  July 31, 2009; 1:49 AM ET Summer TV Press Tour 2009
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Oh Lisa, as usual you're more interested in being snarky and entertaining than you are in being accurate. A half-dozen TV critics did question O'Neill about "Jon & Kate" after the TLC panel. Funny, I didn't see you among them.

Posted by: TVGuyd | July 31, 2009 2:04 PM

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